A day after her own mother criticized her decision to defend Harvey Weinstein, Lisa Bloom has resigned:
I have resigned as an advisor to Harvey Weinstein.
My understanding is that Mr. Weinstein and his board are moving toward an agreement.
— Lisa Bloom (@LisaBloom) October 7, 2017
Yesterday, Bloom’s mother, attorney Gloria Allred, said, “Had I been asked by Mr. Weinstein to represent him, I would have declined, because I do not represent individuals accused of sex harassment.” Bloom herself seemed to admit in an interview that Weinstein’s behavior was illegal sexual harassment, but in a separate interview the same day she clarified that Weinstein admitted to “misconduct” but not to sexual harassment.
Gloria Allred’s criticism may have been one factor in Bloom’s decision, another may have been this piece at the Huffington Post which described another encounter with Weinstein not included in the NY Times piece:
Harvey Weinstein once trapped a woman in the hallway of a restaurant that was closed to the public and masturbated in front of her until he ejaculated, she says…
The incident took place a decade ago, according to Lauren Sivan, who at the time was a news anchor on a local cable channel in New York, Long Island 12. She says the experience left her shocked, and that while she told friends privately what happened, she remained quiet because she was in a long-term relationship and fearful of the power that Weinstein wielded in the media.
If you’re wondering why she didn’t run, read the whole story for the details. Weinstein walked her into an isolated area, dismissed everyone else and had her trapped in a small hallway. The only way out was to go around him and moving closer understandably didn’t seem like a good option in that moment.
Whether that story is the straw that broke the camel’s back or not is unclear, but Bloom isn’t the only rat leaving the sinking ship. MSNBC host Mika Brezinski announced she was refusing to go forward with a book deal:
Authors, actors, and moviemakers should not work for any Weinstein company until he resigns. Not a close call. #knowyourvalue
— Mika Brzezinski (@morningmika) October 7, 2017
I have a three-book deal with Weinstein Books, through Hachette. I can’t go forward with those books unless Harvey resigns.
— Mika Brzezinski (@morningmika) October 7, 2017
As I noted yesterday, Democratic politicians who have received donations from Weinstein are giving the tainted money away to various causes. Amid all of this fallout one select group has remained silent so far: A-list actresses who have worked for Weinstein:
Ladies of Hollywood, your silence is deafening.
— Rose McGowan (@rosemcgowan) October 7, 2017
The Daily Mail has a rundown of the people not speaking up about sexual harassment at this moment, starting with Meryl Streep:
A-list actresses like Meryl Streep and Nicole Kidman and Gwyneth Paltrow who have used their fame to encourage and support women and who have worked with Weinstein have said nothing…
Kidman’s lack of comment is perhaps the most glaring of the three as she just came off an awards season push for her HBO show Big Little Lies in which she repeatedly spoke about the importance of empowering women and supporting victims of abuse.
They are not alone in their silence either, as many other women who have sang the praises of Weinstein while speaking out against harassment also went mute as of Friday afternoon, including: Kate Hudson, Julianne Moore, Cate Blanchett, Renee Zellweger, Angelina Jolie, Salma Hayek, Penelope Cruz, Toni Collette, Minnie Driver and Uma Thurman.
Meryl Streep’s silence seems odd given that just a few months ago she was being lionized as the conscience of Hollywood for her attacks on President Trump. So is this just hypocrisy of the first order? Probably, but the Daily Mail does raise one possibility that didn’t occur to me. Maybe Weinstein has NDAs with some of these women, preventing them from speaking up.
Finally, I have to note that some on the left are now trying to claim the right is trying to distract us all from the real issue:
6. This isn't just an effort to weaponize it politically against "liberals." It's also an effort to distract from the actual discussion
— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) October 7, 2017
The idea that the party of Ted Kennedy and Bill Clinton (and Harvey Weinstein) is the party that really cares about the real issue is absurd. Yes, it’s true that there’s a broader issue here that goes beyond politics, but the fact remains that progressive Hollywood is uniquely positioned because of their penchant for acting as moral arbiters for the rest of the country. From the NY Times:
Hollywood isn’t the only industry still abiding behavior that never had a rightful place in civilized society. Not at all. But it stands out because the industry often holds itself up as a force for moral good, its awards ceremonies filled with beribboned attendees.
As my colleagues who wrote the investigative article about Mr. Weinstein, Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey, noted, he was allegedly harassing women in five-star hotel rooms across the globe even as his company was distributing films like “The Hunting Ground,” a 2015 documentary about sexual assault on college campuses. He also helped endow a “Gloria Steinem” faculty chair at Rutgers; joined a national women’s march in Park City, Utah, in January; and was a big fund-raiser for and supporter of Hillary Clinton.
What this shows is that Hollywood’s pure and noble progressives are just as likely to succumb to the temptation of power and money as anyone else. It’s not just Harvey Weinstein, it’s all the people who covered for him or said nothing for decades because he could either help them or hurt them or quite possibly because he was doing great things for the progressive cause. Some of them still seem to be waiting to see how this shakes out rather than taking the brave, principled stand they take at awards shows, knowing it costs them nothing. Where the hell are you Meryl Streep? Where is your passionate 10-minute speech denouncing this for all the world to see?
Update: The NY Times reports Lisa Bloom’s decision to leave wasn’t solely her own. She was counseling Weinstein to release photos of the accusers looking chummy with him. Weinstein’s brother didn’t like it:
As the board convened an emergency phone meeting on Thursday evening to address the allegations, published in an investigation by The Times, Ms. Bloom sent an email to board members attacking the article. She outlined a plan that involved “more and different reporting,” including “photos of several of the accusers in very friendly poses with Harvey after his alleged misconduct.”…
Bob Weinstein wrote Ms. Bloom a disapproving email on Friday morning, shortly before she appeared on “Good Morning America.” He pointed out that Democratic politicians were giving away money that Mr. Weinstein had donated to them, women’s rights organizations were calling for him to be fired and actors and actresses were openly stating how appalled they were. “It is my opinion, that u are giving your client poor counsel,” he wrote. “Perhaps, Harvey as he stated in the NY Times, to the world, should get professional help for a problem that really exists.”
Also, adviser Lanny Davis is out as well.
Lanny Davis, another adviser to Mr. Weinstein, is also no longer representing him, according to a person familiar with the matter. Mr. Davis, a lawyer and crisis counselor who served as special counsel to President Bill Clinton, declined on Saturday to discuss his departure. But he and Mr. Weinstein had disagreed over how to handle the sexual harassment allegations, with Mr. Davis advising a more conciliatory tone and approach than Mr. Weinstein seemed willing to adopt.
So it seems Weinstein’s dream team of crisis representatives is quickly falling apart.