By R. J. NICHOLAS
The New York Times report regarding allegations of Harvey Weinstein raping multiple women in Hollywood was followed up with comments from a handful of other women who shared similar stories of Weinstein’s unwanted sexual advances. The latest women to come out with stories are Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie.
Paltrow says before she began shooting her star-making 1996 film, “Emma,” she met with Weinstein in his suite at the Peninsula Beverly Hills hotel — the same hotel where other women allege Weinstein also harassed them. Paltrow remembers the producer “placing his hands on her and suggesting they head to the bedroom for massages.” She was 22 years old at the time. Paltrow told the New York Times, “I was a kid, I was signed up, I was petrified.”
Paltrow refused his advances and ended up telling her then-boyfriend Brad Pitt about the unwanted encounter. Paltrow “thought he was going to fire” her. After Pitt “confronted” Weinstein he “threatened her not to tell anyone” about the incident. So Paltrow didn’t she remained silent and allowed this type of behavior to continue to happen to other women years into the future. By remaining silent, Paltrow went on to work with Weinstein again on “Shakespeare in Love,” and obtained for herself an Academy Award for Best Actress in 1999.
Paltrow’s story falls in line with many other women who have come forward with stories about Weinstein’s sexual misconduct. Why they are suddenly coming out years after the incidents is the most alarming element of all. Allegedly Weinstein lured multiple women into his hotel room promising professional meetings at the start of their careers before making unwelcome sexual advances. Weinstein — or those around him — threatened other women to not come forward with any allegations, while award winning actresses chose not to speak up.
Angelina Jolie also recounted a similar experience with Weinstein around the release of “Playing by Heart” in the late ‘90s, but she never shared this information. Instead she kept the matter hidden and put herself and her career above the safety of other women that would be harrassed after her. Just the other day Jolie told the Times via email, “I had a bad experience with Harvey Weinstein in my youth, and as a result, chose never to work with him again and warn others when they did. This behavior towards women in any field, any country is unacceptable.” An eloquent statement by Ms. Jolie, but far too late for the fame saturated actress to come forth with.
The list of women goes on including Mira Sorvino, Asia Argento, Ashley Judd and Rose McGowan, who all of a sudden decided to share their own accounts of Weinstein’s alleged sexual harassment. Is it true that these women really want to expose evil for what it is or are they using this moment to further their careers once more by basking in the publicity of such a devastating situation.
More claims against Weinstein continue to mount this week and one is left questioning, why is everyone speaking up now? Where were all these stories when they happened? All of a sudden those who worked closely with Weinstein, starting their careers, gaining fame and fortune, awards and respect in the entertainment industry suddenly want to come forward to condemn his reported decades-long behavior. The actors who have risen to high ranks in the entertainment industry and suddenly want their names in articles like these are just as guilty as Weinstein. George Clooney, Ben Affleck, Meryl Streep, Judi Dench, Paltrow, Jolie and more have released official statements in recent days. Sadly it has all come too late. Many other lives have been broken, breached and even damaged by Weinstein’s behavior that was allowed to go on for as long as it has. The worse of all are the actors who state that they were unaware of Weinstein’s history of sexual harassment before the New York Times’ report. Were they able to work closely with someone like Weinstein and not see even a hint of sexual harassment? Or are they the one’s who are even more fearful to admit what they’ve seen or known? The answer I leave for you to decide…
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