What About Weinstein’s Public Offenses?

Harvey Weinstein, I’ve just read, is “the disgraced Pulp Fiction producer.” But isn’t someone who encourages millions of people to think of murder and torture as super cool and fun already pre-disgraced? Doesn’t he arrive in the locked office with the actress cowering in the corner already publicly disgraced and intent on disgracing himself in private?

This is a man whom we have to thank for Reservoir Dogs, Gangs of New York, Kill Bill, Rambo, Inglorious Basterds, Django Unchained, and mountains of similar trash. I imagine he doesn’t donate to the NRA, but I can guarantee the NRA would have donated to him if asked.

Does it take something away from the appropriate outrage at Weinstein’s hidden offenses to notice his publicly accepted offenses? I don’t even think people believe that it does. I think they mostly just find his public offenses completely inoffensive. Sure, he promotes violence, sadism, sexism, and all forms of nastiness to the globe through the most powerful medium available for influencing the least educated audiences available. Sure, thousands of people act on what their culture feeds them. But only when Weinstein acts like a pig off-camera are we supposed to finally get upset?

This is a theme we see in all sorts of variations, from cheering for military leaders who slaughter Iraqis until they share secrets with their mistresses, or applauding presidents who end welfare, create NAFTA, create media monopolies, and drop bombs on people, but who must be impeached for sex with interns in the White House, or presidents who go out of their way to destroy the natural environment and risk World War III but whom we must denounce for their personal crudeness.

Aren’t we suffering from a bad case of misprioritized outrage? That is, shouldn’t we be even more outraged than we are over Weinstein’s sexual offenses, but shouldn’t we be still more outraged than that by the insidious effect that the entertaining filth he produces for a living has on our young people and the young people of the world?

I asked Heidi Tilney Kramer, author of Media Monsters, her view, and she replied,

“We have seen the poor behavior of many media executives, including the leaked internal memo from (former) Disney CEO, Michael Eisner: ‘We have no obligation to make history. We have no obligation to make art. We have no obligation to make a statement. To make money is our only objective.’ The Weinstein brothers battled with the Disney corporation for some time and Harvey Weinstein has promoted some fine work on screen, not least of which is Billy Eliot the Musical, promotion of the beautiful Hayao Miyazaki films, and Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom; however, he is also the person who gave us the shocking brutality of the Scary Movie series, Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill, Halloween and Inglorious Basterds. He also gave us Spy Kids, pitting kids against criminals.

“The pattern we see here is excessive, often gory violence. It does not surprise me that Mr. Weinstein has so many allegations against him. He, like many industry others, has so much power that he not only thinks he can subject his audiences to brutality, but those around him.”

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  • TheTruthHurtsLiberals

    Mandela? fine work? I didn’t see it. Was he shown as the murdering terrorist both he and his wife are/were? If you take issue with my statement, just google ‘necklacing’, which was a Winnie Mandela favorite.

  • diogenes

    Spot on.

  • ArtBell

    Let’s not forget some of the TV trash like the CSI series. They generally start the show dissecting a rotting corpse.

  • thomas h

    Movies do not cause actions. I can watch Rambo all day long and yet not have one violent impulse.

    Movies cater violence to people that wish to see violence. That is called “playing to your market.”

    Correlation ain’t causation.

  • paul

    Great article. We have a culture that glorifies violence. And no it’s not about catering to the audience. It’s about mind controlling the audience.

  • diogenes

    Weinstein is totally small time slime. Compared to, for example, Kissinger, how many people has he killed?

  • Raphael Cruz

    Violence, like sex, underlies virtually all of U.S. society. Both are key ingredients in the entertainment world, the advertising world, the fashion world, ,many large and powerful organizations, and, of course, our foreign policy, to name but a few. What I profoundly hope comes out of the sordid Weinstein spectacle is the unveiling and take-down of the horrific sexual abuse machine that runs the entertainment industry. It’s not just about women, it’s also about men and, most sadly, children. Note that every time gay sexual abuse or child sexual abuse in Hollywood reaches the headlines, it disappears virtually overnight. While we all wring our hands over the despicable acts of HW, the vast number of perpetrators still lurking in the darkness are hoping and praying that the furor over HW will burn itself out and they can get back to business as usual.