What began with the recent Harvey Weinstein revelations has opened up a dam of denial covering up exploitive acts of Hollywood’s power brokers towards those their junior in status simply looking for an honest shot at success. With the accusations toward Kevin Spacey this week, we’re reminded that victims to male predatory behavior extend beyond women.
#KevinSpacey is a piece of shit. Closeted but conveniently comes out to get sympathy when he is revealed to be a child molester.
— Margaret Kimberley (@freedomrideblog) October 30, 2017
Good will hunting
Hunting for some good will public relations, Matt Damon and George Clooney spoke to the friendly folks at Good Morning America about their new film, and, while knowing Horrible Weinstein was an “asshole,” conveniently knew nothing about anything potentially criminal in his behavior. See their professional acting skills on full display here:
Translation: Harvey made me rich and famous so I didn’t care about anything else. Till now.
Jesus Christ, superstud
Where Buddhists believe we’re one with everything, men in power seem to hold themselves as the one whom all others revolve. Those who’ve gone down to the Crossroads in search of fame and fortune, seemingly returned with a sense of grandiosity and holiness about themselves, a.k.a., I-am-the-Christ phenomenon. And when these media and entertainment superstars bring in the big bucks, responsibility for their predatory behavior, and accountability for their moral failings, take a back seat to the jangling ring of the cash register. So prevalent this dynamic, a federal agency has reviewed these self-perceived messiah types, according to Noam Schreiber, writing in the NY Times,
Whether it was Bill O’Reilly at Fox, which reportedly gave Mr. O’Reilly a $100 million contract extension just weeks after he signed a $32 million settlement with an accuser, or Harvey Weinstein, who paid out at least eight settlements to women who had accused him of harassment and unwanted contact, employers and board members appear to have gone to great lengths to avoid jeopardizing the careers of luminaries accused of misbehavior.
The pattern is so well established that an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission task force, in a report on sexual harassment last year, gave those who benefit from it a name: “superstar” harassers…
And because the labor market has created more and more superstars in recent decades, as economists have repeatedly found, the number of harassers in that category is probably growing.
Meet the Boomers
An undeniable aspect to this predatory pattern is that the offenders, by-and-large, are cardholding members of the entitled baby boom generation. While Jimmy Carter acknowledged in 1976 that he “looked on a lot of women with lust” and had “committed adultery in my heart many times,” he certainly possessed enough composure, morality and self control to leave the feelings right there in his heart. But with the arrival of our first baby boomer president, Bill “I did not have sexual relations with that woman” Clinton, predatory behavior was institutionalized with the complete support of his wife. In case you forgot this classic Clinton attack-the-victim-and-critics 60 Minutes performance from September of 1992, meet your self-proclaimed feminists:
Even morally polluted Harvey Weinstein attempted the I’m-an-out-of-control-entitled-baby-boomer defense when the news of his escapades first hit,
“I came of age in the ’60s and ’70s when all the rules about behavior and workplaces were different. That was the culture then. I have since learned it’s not an excuse, in the office — or out of it.”
None of this is to say that predatory or exploitative behavior was initiated by baby boomers. But those behaviors were certainly normalized by boomers.
Hollywood must die
While the Hollywood “casting couch” is as old as the movie industry itself, it’s in the modern era, where themes of political correctness have identified – and in fact wed – Hollywood with the Democratic party of the Clintons, that ethics and morality have lived in a hall of mirrors. Until now. The avalanche of career and reputation wrecking revelations about America’s cherished film heroes is exactly what they and we need. And it’s exactly the point of this #TermLimits4Celebs series: our collective obsession with celebrities is damaging to our collective attempt at effective citizenry. When we toss away our right to personal experience by projecting our hopes, fear and dreams upon monstrously overpaid celebrities like Alec Baldwin, George Clooney, Matt Damon, or whomever you want to pick from the stable, we trade away our citizenry in favor of consuming. Hopefully we’ve finally had enough.
Perhaps it’s a coincidence that corresponding with the fall of Hollywood comes the fall of the Clinton Machine, the wrecking ball being in the form of a book excerpt from former, interim Democratic National Committee Chair (DNC), and long-time party and Clinton stalwart, Donna Brazile, stating the Clinton campaign and the DNC colluded to rig the campaign. Much of the politically correct, identity politics that have defined the modern Democratic party was given marquee billing by Hollywood’s best and brightest. So we’re, on the one hand, lectured about the ills of bullying by bullies who, on the other hand, feed us reality TV that promotes the shaming of losers. And we’re reminded, on and off-screen, about the exploitation of women by those who understand it more intimately than those of us in front of the screen, and the voting booth.
Subsequent to revelations about his predatory behavior, Kevin Spacey was booted from his starring role in the Netflix hit series, House of Cards. Without Spacey, Netflix pulled the plug on the entire program. Let us all pray that the house of cards of politics and entertainment culture meets a similar fate. Our survival depends upon it.