If you are against inequality can you also be against Harvey Weinstein?

Harvey Weinstein styles himself as a social justice warrior, e.g., against private gun ownership and against the tyranny of Donald Trump. In the eyes of many good-hearted people he can no longer wear the mantle of social justice warrior, however, because he advanced the Hollywood careers of women who agreed to watch him shower, massage him, have sex with him, etc. (and some women said “no,” which, as soon as Weinstein’s string of hits faltered, led to unfavorable press coverage)

[Facebook Messenger comments from a friend:

Actually I would watch Weinstein shower for the job.
I just wouldn’t enjoy it. But work is not always fun.


Suppose that, due to the fallout from these stories, all of the casting couches in Hollywood are sent to Goodwill. Which young people will get ahead? How about children of successful movie stars. The established star can tell a studio “I’m going to appear in big Movie X only if you cast my child in small Movie Y.” How about children of rich families. The rich parents can tell a producer “I’m only going to fund your indie work of genius if you cast my child.”

Plainly a post-Weinstein Hollywood will be less likely to offend our aesthetic sensibilities, but will it be less equal?




  1. Neal

    October 14, 2017 @ 1:07 pm


    Isn’t the presence of so many multi-generational acting dynasties suggest this already happens?

  2. Anonymous

    October 14, 2017 @ 1:29 pm


    Doesn’t (or suggestive)

  3. Jim Ancona

    October 14, 2017 @ 1:34 pm


    A similar take from Eric Raymond: http://esr.ibiblio.org/?p=7701

  4. Stavros Macrakis

    October 14, 2017 @ 4:28 pm


    This is such bullshit.

    You seem to be arguing that since there are other unfair ways of getting ahead, that reducing sexual quid pro quos is pointless. Of course there will continue to be nepotism, bribery of various kinds, and other unfair techniques, but so what? Does that argue against limiting the power of senior men to pressure women into sex? I hope you’re not planning to argue that it’s somehow consensual, like ESR’s pseudo-radical-libertarian nonsense.

    As for your intro about Weinstein’s politics, this is really completely irrelevant. It just shows that he’s a hypocrite, not that there’s anything problematic about the positions that he supported in public.

  5. billg

    October 15, 2017 @ 12:25 am


    “I’m shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!” – Casablanca, 1942; also: liberal Hollywood, 2017.

  6. deabea

    October 15, 2017 @ 5:48 pm


    Ho Hum Harvey. So what if women of little education and extraordinary physical appeal agree to a few minutes of working flat on their back in return for untold riches and fame. This is not an opportunity for plain Janes who toil in cube farms. Are they the modern equivalent of sacred prostitutes in the Temple of Baal before Harvey elevates them to goddess? In pagan times, the amatory adventures of the gods and goddesses, as well as “sacred prostitution” was considered a necessary fertility so that the land would flourish and prosper.

  7. Anonymous

    October 16, 2017 @ 11:43 am


    In what sense Harvey Weinstein promotes equlaity? By spreadign his wealth through sexual harassment settlements, buying PR surrogates and paing off public organizations who otherwise opposed him due to his financing and distribution of harmful movies? Or did he unionize his gardners and pays them life pensions equal 100% of their best compensated anual salary?
    He seems to be against vulnerable people such old and weak, including many women, being able to protect themselves, which is agianst equlaity.

  8. Sam

    October 21, 2017 @ 9:53 am


    If I offer to pay you for sex, and you decline, you are not a victim. If I offer to pay you for sex, and you accept, you are not a victim.

  9. Anonymous

    October 23, 2017 @ 10:18 am


    Sam, you a wrong. In most US jurisdictions soliciting is a crime and unwilling solicitee is a victim. I am wondering how come with such active record Harvy Weinstein has not been seen with black eyes or bandaged crotch.

  10. Old News

    October 26, 2017 @ 11:29 pm


    Marilyn Monroe: ‘I spent a great deal of time on my knees’, she recalled without rancour. ‘If you didn’t go along, there were twenty-five girls who would’.


Log in