We as Americans need to have a serious come-to-Jesus moment of introspection.
This week, numerous women came forward claiming they were sexually harassed by Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein, a Democratic mega-donor. Many Hollywood celebrities have condemned Weinstein’s alleged actions in recent days. Angelina Jolie, Cara Delevingne, Rose McGowan, Ashley Judd, Gwyneth Paltrow…all actresses being hailed by the Hollywood Left as courageous and brave.
It’s true, strength comes in numbers. But it’s arguable that the “strength” they exhibit now as a crowd was nonexistent when they were on their own, clawing their way up the ladder of celebrity status, suppressing their integrity to excuse the inexcusable. To these ladies, let me say this as clearly as I can: You are complicit. Your silence over the last three decades enabled and propagated a culture in Hollywood that breeds men like Harvey Weinstein. You are not brave. You are stepping on the spoke of a wheel to elevate yourself, again clawing your way up, this time onto the bandwagon.
The women who are truly brave in this scandal are the women whose names you won’t hear: the personal assistants in year one of trying to make it as a future director, the actresses who were preyed upon by Weinstein who, as a result of seeking justice, had their careers destroyed. These women whose integrity prevented them from staying silent, they are the brave ones.
Even some Democrats are speaking out. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and wife to one of the most notorious sexual predators in modern times, released a statement saying, “I was shocked and appalled by the revelations about Harvey Weinstein. The behavior described by women coming forward cannot be tolerated. Their courage and the support of others is critical in helping to stop this kind of behavior.”
Mrs. Clinton, were you shocked and appalled with your husband when, time after time, you were faced with the fact that he too had preyed upon women? Have you also extended this badge of courage to Juanita Broaddrick, Kathleen Willey, Paula Jones and Leslie Milwee?
Part of this is our fault: America has a love affair with redemption stories. True stories of people falling into the depths of emotional and moral despair, rising from their regrets with an abundance of self-righteousness…it’s a story we all love to read, watch, and hear. But maybe we need to tweak our interests a little.
Robert Downey, Jr., Mary Tyler Moore, David Duchovny, Drew Barrymore, Kiefer Sutherland, Elizabeth Taylor, Ozzy Osborne, Tiger Woods and countless others…all repeatedly succumbed to various addictions, destroying their families and working relationships time after time. But who among them lost their job, their fame, and their relevance? At what point do we stop celebrating celebrities when they bounce back from a place they never should have been? I recognize that everyone makes mistakes. None of us are innocent.
Hollywood loves to stay on trend. But for future reference, as William Makepiece Thackeray said, “Bravery never goes out of fashion.” Bravery was just as cool twenty years ago when these actresses could’ve spoken out and possibly altered the events of the future. But their silence allowed many more young women to be victims of serial, predatory behavior by Harvey Weinstein. Let’s hope that moving forward, Hollywood recognizes that bravery on your own is, indeed, very cool.