Editorial: After Weinstein, silent no more

Louisette Geiss (L) sits with lawyer Gloria Allred as she speaks at a news conference to allege that Harvey Weinstein sexually harassed her, in Los Angeles, California, U.S. October 10, 2017. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

Innocent until proven guilty is the way of American law, unless, it would seem, that the “innocent” is a white, privileged, powerful male, and the “guilty” is a young, green slutty female actress who has been taken advantage of. I’m talking, of course, about the producer of such films as 47 Meters Down; The Hateful Eight; August: Osage Country; and Kill Bill.

Weinstein is said to have built the careers of many celebrities, such as Quentin Tarantino, Kevin Smith, Ben Affleck, Matt Damon and Gwyneth Paltrow, but one has to wonder if Tarantino, Smith, Affleck, or Damon were sexually harassed or felt their careers were threatened if they did not submit to Weinstein’s wishes.

As a prominent figure both on screen and off, it’s easy to see why women were hesitant to come forward, for fear of being scrutinized, bullied, and harassed, as is so often the case.

Multiple women have now come forward with accounts of Weinstein’s inappropriate actions, and he is now facing many sexual harassment and rape charges. Successful women, at the time felt they weren’t able to come forward about what had happened between them for fear that their careers would immediately plummet, and women early into their careers didn’t come forward either, for fear that Weinstein could ruin their chances at a career in one foul swoop. 

According to an October 10 article in the New Yorker, Weinstein has been accused of raping three women, sexually assaulting four, and more than a dozen employees came forward as having witnessed or knew about unwanted sexual advances. The article claims that for over twenty years rumors and whispers of Weinstein’s harassment and assaults have trailed around him wherever he goes. Known for his brutal and threatening business style, I can easily understand why women were hesitant to step forward, or say anything to anyone at all. It appears that through a series of legal threats, payoffs, and nondisclosure agreements he, and his team of associates, were able to keep the women quiet.

What’s worse? Many of the employees of Miramax and the Weinstein Company knew about Harvey’s aggressive actions, but chose to look the other way for fear of retaliation.

These stories are important. Do not allow aggressors like Weinstein get away with assaulting other people. Talk about what is happening, read about it, post about it if you feel so inclined, but do not stay silent. When you turn a blind eye to assault, rape and harassment you are a part of the problem. It’s that simple.

© Lindsy M. Bissonnette FF2 Media (10/10/17)

Top Photo: NY Daily News Richard Shotwell

Middle Photo: Weinstein (illustration by Oliver Munday, source photograph by Raymond Hall / GC images via Getty).jpg

Bottom Photo: Louisette Geiss (L) with Gloria Allred (R) speaking publicly about Harvey Weinstein’s sexual harassment. Reuters website. Lucy Nicholson.

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LB has worked in nonprofit administration, marketing, and development since 2015 and has been writing, performing, producing, and directing since 2010. She’s an experienced fundraising and strategic planning administrator interested in social justice and gender equity with a passion for bringing people together and making them laugh though shared experience and performance. She loves combining her passions in unique ways and collaborating with like-minded folks. Whether in administration or sketch, LB loves pushing the needle forward and fighting for equitable space for historically and systemically oppressed identities. As an FF2 Contributing Editor from 7/16 thru 3/18, Lindsy's responsibilities included: writing/editing 5-10 pieces weekly; monitoring, publishing, and formatting the FF2 website; managing 3-4 interns per semester and developing their artistic voice and critical thinking skills; attending and coordinating film panels and festivals; interviewing and composing articles about film writer/directors including Ava Duvernay, Angelina Jolie, Deborah Kampmeier, Kirsten Tan, and more; and supporting the Editor-in-Chief, Executive Editors, and Business Manger in administrative tasks.
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