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Harvey Weinstein – the lumbering lothario enabled by the Hollywood machine

If Harvey Weinstein, the big-shot producer, didn't have Hollywood who would he be?
He would probably be the man hiding behind the bins at Walmart feverishly flicking through a dirty magazine. He would be that guy on the train with a newspaper on his lap edging ever closer as the carriage emptied.

He would always be Harvey Weinstein, the lumbering lothario, but unlike so many other lumbering lotharios who have gone before, this one got his lucky break. Due to an exceptional talent for film making Hollywood snapped him up and enabled him to become the predator he dreamed of being and simultaneously provided him with his prey.

Hollywood has always been a place of escapism, born out of the 1930's depression when people visited the cinema to get away from the drain of their everyday lives. They wanted to see glamorous, beautiful people live out gilded dreams upon a silver screen and this basic premise has not changed.

Neither has our inability to see beyond the perfect images with which we are presented to the sad, rotten machine which is clanking on behind. The male gaze of the camera is persistently focused on the exploited female who got there on her aesthetic advantages and how well she faired on the 'infamous' casting couch.

Now Harvey Weinstein has made us confront it and the world is uncomfortable. To try and cope, the whole saga has been blown up into a spectacle to rival any of Weinstein's films, clinging onto Hollywood's stereotypes like a life raft.

The victims of Weinstein's persistent sexual abuse are being dealt with like any film billing, with the most beautiful and famous leading the charge. Those who suffered more greatly, the alleged rape victims lagging behind, because they won't sell newspapers. The men meanwhile are castigated for failing to live up to their leading man personas by not speaking out in support of the women.

But despite all the smoke and mirrors, the true picture is slowly leaking out. Countless of Hollywood's leading ladies were victims. It makes no sense that those working with and around them did not know. Everyone was quite obviously hushed up by the Hollywood machine - which makes you fearful of truth telling - and Weinstein's bulging wallet.

We are also slowly seeing there is nothing glamorous and aspirational about Weinstein the predator. A picture of a pitiful man who had to steal his physical interactions from women without permission is starting to emerge. A man who would open the door to his hotel room wearing just an open dressing gown, who would beg women to watch him shower or let him massage them, a man who would 'lumber' around his hotel room naked trying to grab his prey. It is reported he would cry if he did not get his way.

Whatever happens next – and I don't doubt Weinstein will be back once he has atoned and done a session in rehab – Hollywood has unwittingly performed its own indecent exposure. The golden walls are still up but are ever so slightly beginning to crumble. Weinstein has hopefully put doubt into enough people's minds that all is not so hallowed and great beneath that magical veneer and as a result there won't be many more Harvey Weinsteins. Next time women will feel a bit more emboldened to speak up and slowly but surely these men will not be welcomed back.

Instead they can go far away to where all the other lumbering lotharios hang out, behind the bins at Walmart.


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