There have been many statements of contrition, apology, and anger from the Hollywood community over the past few days about Harvey Weinstein. The actress Glenn Close released a statement in which she, in part, acknowledged she had heard the rumors about Weinstein. Brad Pitt acknowledges that Gwyneth Paltrow told him about Weinstein. It makes George Clooney and Meryl Streep’s statements all the more questionable.
We now know that many members of the press also aided, abetted, and covered up Weinstein’s behavior. We now know that he employed people who aided, abetted, and covered up his behavior. We now know that there were consistent rumors about Weinstein for a long time and he was caricatured by several actors in their work.
If there is any rumor that has bubbled up more than the stuff on Weinstein, it is the rumors of pedophilia and child sexual abuse in Hollywood. These rumors have been persistent. Several former child stars have come forward to discuss the drugs, alcohol, and abuse inflicted on them as children. Almost all have a similar story — they are too scared to name the names because they are fearful others will stay silent or deny the charges, so when the powerful producer sues, there will be no one to back them up.
We live in an age where if one connects pedophilia to a subculture of the gay community, certain people scream hysterically, despite it being a widely accepted and a probably accurately held view that pedophilia is such a subculture. We also live in a culture where any statement deemed homophobic, no matter how true, is out of bounds.
Thus we are confronted by a Hollywood culture that is so supportive of the normalization of gay culture that to speak out at all could be considered homophobic or at least damaging to that which Hollywood has wanted to normalize. To speak out would be as damaging as speaking out against Weinstein just a few years ago. And frankly, as much as there is a “casting couch” phenomenon that people turn a blind eye to, there are other sexual phenomena Hollywood turns a blind eye to, including the rich, powerful, and older with the young and often male.
Harvey Weinstein got caught. Hollywood must now purge itself of him because he got caught by a mainstream media blogger culture so more dependent on web traffic than access to men like Weinstein that it could expose him. But that same mainstream media blog culture is not about to report on rampant pedophilia in Hollywood because they think they risk undermining so much of what they’ve spent time normalizing. Yet the rumors about pedophiles and child abusers in Hollywood have been louder and more consistent for longer than those about Weinstein.
Don’t think anything will change after Weinstein. He is, if nothing else, the exception to the rule. Hollywood accepted Donald Trump’s behavior until he became a Republican. Hollywood accepted Bill Cosby’s behavior until he sounded conservative. Hollywood accepted Weinstein’s behavior until it became inconvenient. Hollywood still accepts Bill Clinton’s behavior and it still accepts the pedophiles among them.