“So, uh, yeah. We need to talk about Harvey.” That’s how Hollywood screenwriter Scott Rosenberg opens a lengthy Facebook post talking about his time working closely with the Weinstein brothers in the early days of Miramax. According to Rosenberg, who wrote Beautiful Girls, Con Air and Gone in Sixty Seconds, it was a great time for a group of New York guys trying to shake up the Hollywood film industry. But he says that Weinstein’s interest in young starlets was well known to everyone around him at the time. From Deadline:
Let’s be perfectly clear about one thing:
Not that he was raping.
No, that we never heard.
But we were aware of a certain pattern of overly-aggressive behavior that was rather dreadful.
We knew about the man’s hunger; his fervor; his appetite.
There was nothing secret about this voracious rapacity; like a gluttonous ogre out of the Brothers Grimm.
All couched in vague promises of potential movie roles.
(and, it should be noted: there were many who actually succumbed to his bulky charms. Willingly. Which surely must have only impelled him to cast his fetid net even wider).
But like I said: everybody-f**king-knew.
And to me, if Harvey’s behavior is the most reprehensible thing one can imagine, a not-so-distant second is the current flood of sanctimonious denial and condemnation that now crashes upon these shores of rectitude in gloppy tides of bullshit righteousness.
And do you know how I am sure this is true?
Because I was there.
And I saw you.
And I talked about it with you.
You, the big producers; you, the big directors; you, the big agents; you, the big financiers.
And you, the big rival studio chiefs; you, the big actors; you, the big actresses; you, the big models.
You, the big journalists; you, the big screenwriters; you, the big rock stars; you, the big restaurateurs; you, the big politicians.
Rosenberg admits that he did nothing about Weinstein’s behavior because Weinstein was his meal ticket, and a generous one at that:
Sundance! Cannes! Toronto!
Telluride! Berlin! Venice!
Private jets! Stretch limousines! Springsteen shows!
Hell, Harvey once took me to St. Barth’s for Christmas.
For 12 days!
I was a broke-ass kid from Boston who had never even HEARD of St. Barth’s before he booked my travel.
He once got me tickets to the seven hottest Broadway shows in one week. So I could take a new girlfriend on a dazzling tour of theater.
He got me seats on the 40-yard-line to the Super Bowl, when the Patriots were playing the Packers in New Orleans…
So what if he was coming on a little strong to some young models who had moved mountains to get into one of his parties?
So what if he was exposing himself, in five-star hotel rooms, like a cartoon flasher out of “MAD MAGAZINE” (just swap robe for raincoat!)
Who were we to call foul?
Golden Geese don’t come along too often in one’s life.
Rosenberg apologizes for going along with the ride. To all the women he let down by keeping quiet he says, “I am eternally sorry.” Finally, after not having much contact with Harvey for many years, he recounts a recent call in which Weinstein wanted to reminisce about the old days:
A few months ago, Harvey called me, out of the blue.
To talk about the bygone days.
To talk about how great it would be to get some of the gang back together.
Make a movie.
He must have known then the noose was tightening.
There was a wistfulness to him that I had never heard before.
It most assuredly had a walking-to-the-gallows feel.
When we hung up I wondered: “what was that all about?”
In a few short weeks I would know.
It’s a well-written mea culpa which helps explain how this could go on for so long. It wasn’t just the actresses who had a lot to lose by coming forward, it was everyone around Weinstein. Rosenberg says he mostly lost touch with the brothers around 2000 but presumably the same pattern has continued for the last 17 years. No one wants to call out the host at his own party, especially if everyone else seems to be enjoying themselves. So the party rolls on for 30 years.
Rosenberg will take some heat for this and justifiably so, but at least he’s owning up to his part in it. What about all the people who are still claiming they had no idea any of this was going on? What he dubs the “flood of sanctimonious denial” from Weinstein employees to actresses like Meryl Streep to Bill and Hillary Clinton. Do they all get to keep pretending they never heard about any of this? It seems like that’s the current plan. All of the cultural progressives who rally in Hollywood for every noble cause are still, mostly, staying quiet so as not to spoil the party.