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:
- October 09: Brandon Routh, Bruce Catton, Camille Saint-Saens, Guillermo del Toro, PJ Harvey, Scott Bakula, Spencer Grammer, Steve R McQueen
- October 10: Ben Vereen, Bradley Whitford, Charles Dance, Dan Stevens, John Prine, Lucy Griffiths, Peter Coyote, Rebecca Pidgeon, Rose McIver, Tanya Tucker
- October 11: Amitabh Bachchan, Elmore Leonard, Emily Deschanel, Jane Krakowski, Joan Cusack, Luke Perry, Sean Patrick Flanery, Stephen Moyer
- October 12: David Threlfall, Hugh Jackman, Josh Hutcherson, Lin Shaye, Luciano Pavarotti, Martie Erwin, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Sam Moore
- October 13: George Osmond, Hugh Jackman, Josh Hutcherson, Kelly Preston, Lillie Langtry, Marie Osmond, Matt Walsh, Paul Simon, Sacha Baron Cohen, Summer Sanders
- October 14: Ben Whishaw, Jon Seda, Lillian Gish, Max Theriot, Mia Wasikowska, Natalie Maines, Steve Coogan, William Penn
- October 15: Ali Fazal, Dominic West, Evan Hunter, Gotz Otto, Haim Saban, Linda Lavin, Mira Nair, Todd Solondz
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.