Chieftain Press

The Politicization of the Weinstein Scandal

Eva Ricci, Chief Editor

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As developments continue to unravel, Harvey Weinstein, a famed filmmaker of Hollywood has quickly become the center of attention in international media. Weinstein has been accused by numerous women, mostly actresses in the film industry, of sexual assault.

Accusations have been made by notable names such as Angelina Jolie, Cara Delevigne, Ashley Judd, Rose McGowan, Asia Argento, Gwenyth Paltrow, and many more. Although these claims have only been brought to the public’s attention recently, it is reported that various members within Hollywood have known about these acts that Weinstein has been accused of, but have remained silent.

Although each actress has a different account of what their specific encounter was, the New York Times states that: “Across the years and continents, accounts of Mr. Weinstein’s conduct share a common narrative: Women reported to a hotel for what they thought were work reasons, only to discover that Mr. Weinstein, who has been married for most of three decades, sometimes seemed to have different interests”.

These women have made claims that Weinstein had forced them into non-consensual sexual acts in order to be qualified to work on a particular project they were auditioning for.

As horrific as these accusations are, many in Hollywood knew what Weinstein was doing for over 3 decades and he was able to continuously get away with it. The question that much of the general public has is how? How did these acts occur for so long before anyone brought light to the issue? Perhaps it was because the Weinstein Company forced their employees to sign documents that disabled them to speak out. The New York Times explains:

“Dozens of Mr. Weinstein’s former and current employees, from assistants to top executives, said they knew of inappropriate conduct while they worked for him. Only a handful said they ever confronted him. Mr. Weinstein enforced a code of silence; employees of the Weinstein Company have contracts saying they will not criticize it or its leaders in a way that could harm its “business reputation” or “any employee’s personal reputation,” a recent document shows. And most of the women accepting payouts agreed to confidentiality clauses prohibiting them from speaking about the deals or the events that led to them”.

But perhaps other reasons behind the silence surrounding this controversy are political.

Weinstein is a noted, significant member of the Democratic party. It is reported that Weinstein is an avid donor and fundraiser for various Democratic candidates. “According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Weinstein had made 185 individual donations to a variety of Democratic candidate and liberal-aligned organizations dating back to the early 1990s” (CNN).

Due to his emerging controversies, Democratic party members have volunteered to return the donations they received from Weinstein. But many wonder why wasn’t this done beforehand? There is the possibility that some of these members of the Democratic party did not know about these atrocities. But as it is reported that many knew Weinstein personally and heard rumors about his scandals for years, it is assumed that many must’ve known about what was being done behind the scenes.

More notably, 2016 Democratic Presidential Candidate, Hillary Clinton, was a known friend of Weinstein and “during the 2016 campaign, Weinstein held a fundraiser for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign at his New York City apartment ” (CNN). In response to the recent controversies, it took Clinton 5 days to release a statement. Because of the length of time it took for her to speak out, backlash has ensued.

As Counselor to the President and a prominent member of Trump’s team, Kellyanne Conway appeared on Fox News to speak on Clinton’s response: “‘I felt like a woman who ran to be commander-in-chief and president of the United States, who talks about women’s empowerment, took an awfully long time to give support to these women who were coming forward and has still, as far as we know, kept the money—kept the dirty money that dirty Harvey has given her in her campaign'” (Fox News).

Although many do see conflict and potential corruption between the Democratic party and Weinstein, it is yet to be known if all Democratic party members will return the money that they received in the form of donations.

With various layers to this story, suspicions and conspiracies are quickly being spread. New developments continue to arise daily and seeing where this story will lead is something that the Chieftain Press will be following closely.

Sources:

http://www.cnn.com/2017/10/06/politics/harvey-weinstein-democrats/index.html

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/10/11/conway-rips-clinton-on-weinstein-response-needs-to-not-be-hypocrite.html

www.nytimes.com/2017/10/05/us/harvey-weinstein-harassment-allegations.html

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The Politicization of the Weinstein Scandal