I’d imagine that for a Christian this is a difficult question. If the stories about Weinstein are true, he’s the worst of the worst, a tyrant and a rapist many times over. But if what Cranston suggests came to pass — real repentance, years of contrition, hard work to make amends to those he’s wronged, then forgiveness would be in the offing, no? Not to the point that he’s reinstalled as the king of Hollywood but surely to the point that he’s welcomed again into the brotherhood of man.
For an atheist this question is simpler. He’s a rapist? F*** him. Let him burn.
I wish I could sit here and blithely pronounce Cranston delusional, that there’ll be no second chances for the rapists, the crotch-grabbers, the onanist exhibitionists, the whatever-the-hell-Mark-Halperin-is-ists. We’ve come too far. The demons are being exorcised. Weinstein’s probably going to be indicted for rape in Manhattan this month. But then I remember: Mike Tyson. Mike Tyson was convicted of the forcible rape of an 18-year-old, replete with corroborating physical evidence and eyewitness testimony after the fact, and picked up his boxing career where it left off not long after he was paroled. He’s been sufficiently reintegrated into polite society today to do cutesy cameos in major Hollywood comedies like “The Hangover” and to have his own animated show on Adult Swim. If Tyson can make a comeback, Kevin Spacey can surely make a comeback. Maybe even Harvey Weinstein can make a comeback, assuming he doesn’t end up locked away for the rest of his natural life.
After all, when it comes to their entertainment, Americans are a very understanding people.
The one great exception to second chances for celebrities is O.J., who exists in a gray zone where he’s still too radioactive to be hired by anyone but not so radioactive that he can’t go to Vegas and party with lowest-common-denominator imbeciles eager to get his autograph. O.J.’s a singular case, though — universally recognized as guilty of the worst crime there is yet found not guilty of it, and therefore entitled to his liberty out of respect for the rule of law. There’ll be no second act for O.J. But everyone else stands a shot, however remote, including Big Harv. If Cranston’s already musing about redemption just a month after all of the stories broke, before Weinstein’s even been charged, there must be a real hunger in Hollywood to find reason to redeem these cretins and put them back to work.