Lena Dunham: Harvey Weinstein and the Silence of the Men

Woody Allen, whose daughter has said, over his denials, that he sexually abused her as a child, is still getting the hottest young stars to work with him. Roman Polanski, whose victims continue to come forward, is considered a visionary worth fighting for, and I recently had a male star tell me that working with him would “obviously be the ultimate.” (In fact, Mr. Weinstein himself gathered Hollywood to sign a letter asking that Mr. Polanksi’s charges be dropped and he be allowed to return to America.)

.. Last year, I was sexually harassed by a director of a show, not my own, and not on a set, and the response by the powers that be was to defend him, question the women ferociously and take ages before letting him go from the network. It was a move based less on his skill than on some ancient loyalty. It’s that kind of behavior that normalizes this abuse of power.

.. I naïvely expected that the reticence that Hollywood’s powerful men have shown, the collective refusal to take sides in he-said she-said narratives, would be crushed in the face of this open secret being revealed definitively. The reason I am zeroing in on the men is that they have the least to lose and the most power to shift the narrative

.. But here we are, days later, waiting for Mr. Weinstein’s most powerful collaborators to say something. Anything. It wouldn’t be just a gift to the women he has victimized, but a message to the women who are watching our industry closely. They need a signal that we do not approve of the abuse of power and hatred of women that is the driving force behind this kind of behavior.

.. In the fall of 2016, I performed at a benefit for Hillary Clinton organized by the Weinstein Company. I had heard the rumors. I felt that going onstage under his aegis was a betrayal of my own values. But I wanted so desperately to support my candidate that I made a calculation. We’ve all made calculations, and saying we’re sorry about those calculations is not an act of cowardice. It’s an essential change of position that could shift the way we do business and the way women regard their own position in the workplace. I’m sorry I shook the hand of someone I knew was not a friend to women in my industry.

.. Are you afraid because you heard the whisperings but accepted a role or a position on a host committee or a glass of Champagne and a pat on the back? Are you embarrassed because you’re in a photo with him smiling broadly or because he gave money to your organization or introduced you to your girlfriend or earned you your Oscar nomination?

.. It is the problem of the agents who sent their clients to meet with a man they knew was a predator, who shuffled them onto his sets. It is the problem of producers who turned a blind eye. It is the problem of actors who heard whispers but walked back to their trailers to play fantasy football. It is the problem of industry media that would not report their findings because they feared losing their place in Harvey Weinstein’s good graces. It is not, as some have suggested, the problem of the women who are afraid to come forward with their own stories or who settled financially with Mr. Weinstein.

.. Hollywood’s silence, particularly that of men who worked closely with Mr. Weinstein, only reinforces the culture that keeps women from speaking. When we stay silent, we gag the victims. When we stay silent, we condone behavior that none of us could possibly believe is O.K. (unless you do).

The liberals’ cult of Justin Trudeau 

Justin Trudeau: Why Can’t He Be Our President?” asks the cover of the latest edition of Rolling Stone.

.. Trudeau couldn’t even get the nomination of the Democratic party.

.. Trudeau’s idyllic northern paradise is actually the world’s seventh-largest oil producer, and even Boy Band Angela Merkel doesn’t seem particularly eager to destroy the country’s fossil-fuel industry. Sensibly enough, he’s a big proponent of the Keystone Pipeline and Canada’s Kinder Morgan pipeline, which transports hydrocarbons between the oil sands of Alberta (which are “pockmarked,” RS gravely informs us, “like a B-52 bombing range”) and British Columbia.

.. “One of the things that we have to realize is we cannot get off gas, we cannot get off oil, fossil fuels tomorrow — it’s going to take a few decades,” he tells RS. “Maybe we can shorten it, but there’s going to have to be a transition time.”

.. So here’s Rolling Stone’s politics: We’ll forgive you for turning Earth into a coal-black cinder as long as you keep cheering for identity politics in these final moments of suffering we share together.

.. But if you really do want to live in a country led by Justin Trudeau, given that people not born American can’t actually be president of the United States, why not do what Rolling Stone writer Stephen Rodrick suggests in the kicker of his piece: “At this moment, Justin Trudeau’s Canada looks like a beautiful place to ride out an American storm.” Why won’t Justin’s American acolytes  do what they keep promising to do and take off to the Great White North?

.. Lena Dunham is still among us despite her highly specific vow, “I know a lot of people have been threatening to do this, but I really will. I know a lovely place in Vancouver.” Actor Keegan-Michael Key similarly indicated he had a northern escape route planned out when he said Canada is, “like, ten minutes from Detroit,” adding, “That’s where I’m from; my mom lives there. It’d make her happy too.” Key has given no indication lately that he is following up on that.

.. It might just be that there is more to a country than who happens to be head of state at any given moment.

.. Our progressive friends, who alternate between saying, “Ha-ha, Trump can’t do anything!” and dressing up like extras from The Handmaid’s Tale, are proving yet again that their alarmism is meaningless. If any professional lefty actually gives any indication of being serious about leaving America, I’d be happy to start a Kickstarter campaign to pay for their moving expenses.