Hollywood's complicity in Harvey Weinstein's behavior is one of the most horrifying things about the scandal which has shaken Hollywood. The sordid silence that runs parallel to his actions are part of what makes this "open secret" so heartbreaking for many women who have experienced harassment and the culture of silence which protects abusers and discredits victims.
More and more women have been stepping forward with accusations of abuse at the hands of the disgraced movie mogul as the scandal continues to unfold. Now that Hollywood's biggest worst-kept secret is out in the open, a handful of jokes and read-between-the-lines moments have raised certain questions as to why this was allowed to go on as long as it did.
The following video of #CourtneyLove in 2005 is one of the most damning. During a red carpet moment at the Comedy Central Roast Of Pamela Anderson, the former Hole front-woman was asked by comedian Natasha Leggero if she had any advice for young women moving to Hollywood — and she definitely does:
Looking visibly nervous, Love says she'll "get libeled" if she says anything — a legal term used in defamation cases. Despite this, after a short pause and in plain English, Love says:
"If Harvey Weinstein invites you to a private party at the Four Seasons, don't go."
Love's frank warning about #HarveyWeinstein's behavior was not a joke, but a genuine piece of advice — one which she paid dearly for. Now feeling like she can talk more openly, Love wrote on Twitter that she wasn't one of Weinstein's victims, but was eternally banned from the influential Hollywood talent agency CAA for her remarks on the red carpet.
This isn't the only instance of #Hollywood working to keep Weinstein's behavior out of the press. Plenty of jokes have been made in the last 20 years which reference Weinstein's abuse, which is now a very bad look for those who made them. 30 Rock was a culprit on more than one occasion.
Seth MacFarlane was also dragged for a 2013 joke at the Oscars nominee announcement. After reading out the names for Best Supporting Actress, MacFarlane said:
"Congratulations, you five ladies no longer have to pretend to be attracted to Harvey Weinstein."
Skip forward four years and MacFarlance apologized on Twitter for his seemingly insensitive comments, stating that the joke took a "hard swing in his direction":
Having said this, Weinstein's influence was so felt within Hollywood that jokes and side-eyes at the producer's expense is all they had to combat his reign of harassment — which is what makes Courtney Love's comments so much more powerful and important. It's just unfortunate that she ultimately paid the price for her honesty and Weinstein was allowed to go on abusing young women for another 12 years. Perhaps this is why we should start believing women.
(Source: AV Club]