Those who ignored whispers about Weinstein’s grotesque behavior burned to believe that Hollywood was more than juvenile comic-book movies, that it could still make classy, sophisticated films with great roles for mature actresses like Meryl Streep and Judi Dench. And despite tales of misogyny and sickening transgressions, they wanted to buy Harvey’s grand narrative, that he was a liberal feminist who could raise enough money to help elect the first woman president.
With Holmes, people were longing for a young woman to break into the club of boy geniuses conjuring unicorns. She played to that, imitating Steve Jobs by wearing a black turtleneck and driving a car with no license plate. She pitched a Jobs-like mythic story about her company, that it was not merely about making money, it was designed to be “the most important thing humanity has ever built.”
High-minded elites like to scornfully say that Trump voters fell for his scam because they were ignorant and racist. But the high-minded elites fell for Holmes’s scam, even the fake deep authoritative voice she put on. Her board had George Shultz, Henry Kissinger, Jim Mattis and David Boies; Rupert Murdoch and Robert Kraft were investors.