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Weekly Recap: Hurricane Harvey

I don’t know how this week’s revelations about producer Harvey Weinstein have been playing out with readers.  We have been talking about the scandal in the comments section, but the site hasn’t taken on the subject directly.  This isn’t a news site.  Current events may come up, but they aren’t the focus of Le Blog.  While I am unlikely to write a full article on Weinstein while the scandal is unfolding, I have no doubt we will be talking about it here for years to come.  Before we get into this week’s recap of blog activity, I wanted to say a few words on the subject.

From very early on, the What the Hell Happened series has been one of the foundations of Le Blog.  Most of you reading this today probably discovered this site through the series.  Having written about over 100 actors and actresses at this point, there are certain themes that run through the articles.  In roughly half of the write-ups, there has to be some discussion of sexism because Hollywood has always been a man’s world.  Progress has been made but the Weinstein allegations make it very clear that we still have a long way to go.

Over the course of the week, several women have come forward with stories that range from inappropriate to monstrous behavior.  Taken as a whole, they form a nightmarish image of a guy with too much power and privilege.  Weinstein used his power to prey on the vulnerable as men in his position tend to do.  At best, non-compliance meant losing the support of a man who could advance your career.  But there were far worse consequences for many.

Ashley Judd was one of the first and most vocal voices to name names.  She was joined by Rose McGowan who had told her story previously without revealing the identity of her attacker.  Slowly, more and more woman came forward with stories of their own.  The stories were so similar that a pattern emerged.  At this point, it’s impossible to doubt their veracity.

Many of the women who stepped forward were actresses I have covered in the What the Hell Happened series.  We always knew in an abstract sense that sexism was to blame for the relatively short careers of these actresses compared to their male counterparts.   But now, we have explicit details.  This one guy is at least partially responsible for derailing who knows how many promising careers.  And it’s not just the actresses we know about.  There are likely dozens more whose names we don’t know not to mention women who were pursuing jobs in the film industry that didn’t involve acting.  This is one of the reasons why women have had such a hard time getting a foothold in Hollywood.  Eventually, they all have to deal with someone like Harvey Weinstein.

When I write about a subject here, I typically find myself rooting for them in some capacity (unless they are Steven Seagal who as it turns out is gotten embroiled in this story as only he can).  When a WTHH subject like Michael Keaton enjoys a favorable turn of luck, I’m genuinely happy for them.  And while it may sound silly, I am proud of actresses like Judd and fellow WTHH subjects Mira Sorvino and Heather Graham for having the courage to tell their stories.  I hope that by talking about their careers here, we honor them in some small way.  What they did this week was heroic.

Purely through coincidence, this week’s stories from the Movieline archive connected to the Weinstein scandal.  The contributors to the site can confirm this.  I have over a hundred “drafts” pending to post on the site at any given time.  The majority of them are Movieline articles which I have organized according to their publication dates.  The articles that ran this week were selected back in July.  It just so happens that the stars lined up such that this week’s cover story was an interview with Ashley Judd from around the same time as her encounter with Weinstein.

Later in the week, we had a profile piece about Mira Sorvino from 2002.  By that point in her career, she was already looking back at her sudden rise to fame and her quick exit from the spotlight.  Knowing what we know now, it’s obvious that the shy Sorvino never stood a chance in the shark-infested waters of Hollywood.  Speaking of sharks, we also had the first half of a two-part interview with writer-director Oliver Stone.  Never one to shy away from controversy, Stone has been one of only a few celebrities to defend Weinstein this week.

Ugh.  Let’s move on to happier topics.  And what’s happier than birthdays?  Celebrity birthdays!  Jestak served up the cake and lit the candles for this week’s birthday boys and girls.  Here’s a look at who got a year older this week:

For the second week in a row, we’ve had a day that was light on star-power.  The birthday series skipped over October 12 this year because once you get past last year’s headliners, the pickings get slim.  So I hope everyone remembered to celebrate Wolverine’s birthday independently this year.  😉

We also had some higher-than usual activity on social media relating to this week’s birthdays.  Stephen Moyer fans were pretty excited to see someone remembered their favorite vampire on his special day.  And none other than Ben Vereen (or whoever manages his Twitter account) gave his birthday article a thumbs-up!  So there you have it.  Le Blog is officially Vereen-approved.

Also this week, Kevthewriter explored Walk of Fame on Netflix.  Did he unearth a hidden cinematic gem?  No.  According to Kev, the Scott Eastwood comedy made The Ridiculous Six look good by comparison.  And finally, in celebration of Friday the 13th (in October no less), we revisited the franchise-killer, Jason X.  Over the next couple of weeks as All Hallow’s Eve approaches, I will be digging into the Le Blog archives and digging up Halloween-related articles from the past for those who missed them the first time or anyone who might want to reread them.

Next Week: A classic Hitchcock thriller, the “treasure from Toledo”, and more spooky fun.

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Posted on October 15, 2017, in Weekly Recap. Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. Weinstein is scum. The sooner he’s charged & banged up, the better.

    And the actors claiming that this is all news to them are either stupid, wilfully blind, or arrogant morons who haven’t been remotely interested in talking to their female colleagues. It’s hardly news that, in all industries, power is used by the powerful (usually men) to extract sexual favours, and that women are usually those who come off badly as a result. An industry based significantly on sexual appeal is always going to be one of the worst for that, irrespective of whether it’s the sexually appealing who are the main targets. Claiming to be naif / naive / ignorant is not honest, it’s deceitful.

    I’m also very f*cked off with the likes of Kate Winslet, who comes over all proper re: HW but is busily working with Woody Allen. Hypocrite. But then, she’s queen of I’ve had no surgery but let’s not talk about Botox, so she’s used to swerving honesty …

    Emma Thompson, on the other hand, nails it, including looking back at the equally vile Polanski who yet somehow still (mostly) gets a pass. https://youtu.be/XV_W6kPqR9U

    (As a slightly unworthy aside, anyone else spent a %age of this week trying to work out which of their most over-rated actresses might have had a TWC connection? Because whilst this has answered an awful lot of WTHH? questions, it’s also – for me at least – potentially explained an awful lot of HOW ON EARTH??? too.)

    Yet what really bothers me is that we’re a week into this, and there’s yet to be any genuine naming of anyone else guilty of the same. Not the habitual slime of a Schwarzenegger or occasional smugly privileged grope as per Affleck, but another full on sleazebag. I can’t believe there’s not dozens of them out there. But if they’re not exposed, then we’re nowhere near being in a position of making progress.

    grrrrrr.

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    • This did take down the head on Amazon’s video production. I think there will be ripples. But it won’t clear out all the slimey characters.

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    • HH GEEK you are ranting about things you know nothing about. Saying everyone knew is idiotic. How the Hell were they meant to know. Do you think Weinstein was dumb enougth to make his moves in front of witnesses. That’s plain dumb. And attacking Kate Winslet over her looks is just cheap and frankly pathetic. I’ve never heard of her defending Woody Allan but you sound like you love attacking everyone who is famous. Grow up and get a life. No one is shocked that the studio casting couch exists. That doesn’t mean that they know the low life’s who do it. Of course when people in Hollywood do discover somthing like this and condemn it openly, you attack them with real venom that suggests to me that what really upsets you are succesfull hollywood actors and actresses.

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      • There are going to be people in the industry who didn’t “know” in the sense that they didn’t have proof. I think everyone had heard jokes and rumors. If I heard them, then people working with and for Weinstein surely must have heard them too.

        Some people knew and actively worked to protect Weinstein. I hope these people get what they deserve. Others may have suspected but didn’t seek confirmation. I always hoped the rumors weren’t true. Partially, that was because when I heard someone talk about “Harvey’s girls” it was usually to discredit the actresses rather than condemn the predator.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Wow. Thanks, Harvey!

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  2. The cold hard fact is that the “casting couch” system has been in place in the movie and entertainment industries since the earliest days of Hollywood.
    Anyone in the industry who even attempts to say that they are shocked by it is a liar.

    Will it end?
    Probably not totally since there will be women and men willing to jump on the couch to get ahead in the ridiculously well paying and fame providing industry.At least for the ones that – by whatever means – get to the top.

    Are there others as equally guilty as Weinstein. You bet there are. And you can bet that not all of them are straight or not all of them are men.

    Have some of those who are jumping on the “I’m appalled and shocked” bandwagon previously been victims. . .or perhaps beneficiaries of this long standing system?

    Don’t get me wrong, I think the casting couch is horrible, but its been around for a long time and everyone in Hollywood and the public at large has known about it and did nothing.
    That is until now that they feel brave and protected by the media outcry.
    To claim ignorance is disingenuous.

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    • The stories from the “Golden Age of Hollywood” are far worse than most of what Weinstein has been accused of.

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      • He’s been accused of rape. Assuming he’s guilty – and there’s definitely enough of a pattern to make it likely – that’s enough.

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        • That’s why I qualified my statement with the word “most”. I am not defending Weinstein at all, but those casting couch stories from the studio system will curl your toes.

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        • Yeah, I got the qualification. What worries me is that when people start harking back to the past, it can come across as, honestly, they don’t know how good it is now, so hush, don’t complain. No matter how much you don’t mean it to sound like that, and I know from everything I’ve ever seen you write that you’re not a twonk.

          As I said before, my primary concern is that Weinstein will be the token sacrifice of note. I concur with J.Norman that the casting couch will go on, and I can’t object to a willing exchange of sex for advancement. But that’s not what we’re discussing here, and as yet I see no signs that the bigger problem will be addressed for real. 😦

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        • Agreed. Past sins don’t excuse present and future wrong-doing. This problem isn’t limited to the film industry and it won’t be solved any time soon. I do hope this makes it a little bit easier for the next person who comes forward.

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  3. Worth a read. Written by someone who cannot be accused of not knowing what he’s talking about. http://deadline.com/2017/10/scott-rosenberg-harvey-weinstein-miramax-beautiful-girls-guilt-over-sexual-assault-allegations-1202189525/

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