Farewell to Harveywood

A guerrilla art installation titled “Casting Couch” represents Harvey Weinstein. It has been placed along Hollywood Boulevard ahead of the Academy Awards. (Credit: Eugene Garcia/European Pressphoto Agency)
A guerrilla art installation titled “Casting Couch” represents Harvey Weinstein. It has been placed along Hollywood Boulevard ahead of the Academy Awards. (Credit: Eugene Garcia/European Pressphoto Agency)

by Maureen Dowd

I ran into Harvey Weinstein at the Vanity Fair Oscar party last year. He should have been in his element, dominating and manipulating the Oscars, using the statuettes as a golden lure for young actresses, swanning around as a rare avatar of good taste and champion of roles for older women in an industry consumed with comic books and teenage boys.

But he was acting disjointed, talking smack to people from The New York Times.

Maybe with his sixth sense for great stories, he somehow knew he was about to become one of the most scorching stories in Hollywood history, with an ending echoing that all-time classic of female empowerment and great shoes, “The Wizard of Oz.” As with the Wicked Witch of the West, all Weinstein’s power and malevolence would go up in smoke when an ill-used woman (or in his case, 84) finally fought back.

The melting of Harveywood, the fervid hunt for other predators and the pulling back of the curtain on Hollywood’s big little lies about sexual assault, harassment and sexism are making for a fraught awards season.

This is a town built on selling sex, beauty and youth. At the Oscars, actresses who have paid a fortune to dermatologists and surgeons will still vogue on the red carpet as they do the Roger Ailes twirl in gowns and jewels that they are paid handsomely to model.

“It’s a perfect confluence of two industries historically built on the objectification, fetishization and peddling of women — fashion and Hollywood — and both are fighting for their reputation and relevance right now while still hanging onto their codependence, hoping the moment we are in doesn’t subsume a pretty damn good business relationship,” said Janice Min, the former editor of The Hollywood Reporter. “How far can this moment really go without completely endangering and questioning everything Hollywood has held dear?”

Time’s Up, after all, was born at C.A.A., the agency dominated by white men who, their despoiled clients charge, served as a conveyor belt to the Weinstein hotel suites.

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SOURCE: The New York Times