The hypocrisy of Hollywood

First published October 24, 2017 in the Toronto Sun

Who would have imagined that liberal Hollywood and conservative Fox News Channel had so much in common: Both appear to have created a culture where male predators thrived.

Claims by George Clooney and Matt Damon that they’re shocked to learn about producer Harvey Weinstein’s alleged sexual harassment and abuse of women over decades was as hypocritical as Megyn Kelly’s feigned outrage at Bill O’Reilly for his alleged bad behavior.

In promoting the movie ‘Suburbicon,’ which stars Matt Damon, director Clooney said he was aware of Weinstein’s behaviour.

“Most of the rumours I knew, were from Harvey himself: ‘I had an affair with an actress or that actress,’” said Clooney. “Somebody knew. There were people that brought young actresses to his hotel room.”

Clooney and many others knew, too. But did he he ignore the rumours because mega producer Harvey launched and fuelled his career by casting him in big films?

In a separate interview with NBC’s Today, Matt Damon likewise talked out of both sides of his mouth. He said that he “knew the Gwyneth story” — that Weinstein allegedly harassed the high-profile actress — because “Ben [Affleck] had told me about it.”

Damon knew Weinstein Paltrow story but told Today’s Natalie Morales that he didn’t know what he could have done. Hmmm … how about speak up about it when it happened? But Damon, like Clooney, owed the start of his career to Weinstein.

The New York Times recently broke the allegations about Weinstein’s notorious behavior, but Clooney blamed the media for not exposing Weinstein. Huh? “Whoever had that story and didn’t write it, should be responsible. I want to know what kind of ad dollars were spent from the Weinstein Company and Miramax,” Clooney scolded. He even had the audacity to add: “We should have known this.”

You did know this George; but you, Matt, and the rest of Hollywood chose to ignore it and remain silent. From what we have been told, it was Hollywood that created a monster, not the media.

Male predators who use their positions of power and influence to sexually assault and harass women are despicable. Yet employers and employees who enable these men’s behavior in the workplace, for their own monetary and personal gain, are equally culpable.

Keeping silent about the pervasive culture of sexual harassment during her meteoric rise at Fox News Channel, Megyn Kelly — now at NBC — is speaking out, trying to portray herself as a champion of women’s rights. Since the New York Times published a story that Bill O’Reilly paid $32 million to settle sexual harassment allegations brought against him by a former Fox News contributor, Kelly has been grandstanding about how she complained about Bill O’Reilly to her bosses when both women were at FNC.

This week, in the opening monologue of an episode of her eponymous show, Kelly declared: “O’Reilly’s suggestion that no one ever complained about his behaviour is false. I know because I complained.”

In a self-righteous tone, Kelly read an e-mail complaining about O’Reilly that she sent to Fox co-presidents Bill Shine and Jack Abernathy two months before she left the network.

Kelly concluded with “The abuse of women … it has to stop.”

Kelly looks like an opportunist. Toward the end of her tenure at Fox, Kelly sat on a powerful perch, as one of, if not the superstar of the network. She was unstoppable, and so could have helped stop the apparent misogynistic culture at Fox. If only she had complained much sooner than she did.

 

 

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One Response to “The hypocrisy of Hollywood”

  1. Keith Coppage says:

    Again, a thoughtful piece–and I have to agree.

    –Liberal older white guy and longtime fan 😉

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