OPINION: Harvey Weinstein deserves more than a slap on the wrist


Photo credit/ Carolyn Warcup

Vanessa Rodriguez, Staff Writer

Harvey Weinstein’s resume is quite impressive.

With movies like “Django Unchained,” “The King’s Speech,” the “Kill Bill” series, “Rambo,” “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy and “Pulp Fiction,” it’s no wonder he’s known for his productions.

But that long and successful resume doesn’t mean it’s possible to look past his history of sexual assault and taking advantage of upcoming starlets.

With recent accusations from Hollywood stars like Rose McGowan, Gwyneth Paltrow, Eva Green, Angelina Jolie and a number of other women, “the Wein” has “taken a leave of absence” from any upcoming productions.

For most of his accusers, the set up was the same, involving suspicious rendezvous in hotel rooms and unwanted sexual advances.

The Atlantic compared Weinstein’s vague apology to a game of Mad Libs for his inner demons:

“This was a wake-up call. I’m so sorry. It’s not okay. I have more work to do. I’ll do better. Please help me do better. I’m sorry. I’m very sorry. I’m so very sorry. I really do respect women.”
So many periods, so little meaning.

Following his apologizes, Weinstein released a formal statement blaming his behavior on the culture of the 1960s and 1970s when the rules about how one should act in the workplace were different than they are today.

Has he been living under a rock for 47 years? According to a Yale University Press book, harassment toward women was being challenged as a legal problem during the “culture” of the 1970s, so this isn’t new.

TIME magazine covered harassment incidents at Yale and Harvard during the 1970s and 1980s, recognizing that “as many as 18 million American females were harassed sexually while at work in 1979 and 1980.”

Weinstein would have been 28 years old then. He’d have to be pretty cut off from the world to be unaware of the rising incidents of sexual harassment.

This makes his excuse invalid.

Weinstein finished his statement with a Jay-Z song quote, repeated attempts at saying that he respects women as well as mentioning how he organized a $5 million scholarship foundation for women directors at the University of Southern California.

Weinstein is finally paying for his transgressions of being the manipulative piece of trash he is.

Using his power of position and the promise of stardom to take advantage of vulnerable women is wrong. Not only did he make unwanted and forced advances upon women, but he also would keep them quiet by dangling their potential careers in front of their desperate eyes if they were to decline him.

What makes people think that a powerful position allows them to take advantage of others? Human beings are flawed. When given power and authority over others, some take it too far. From rulers in history to current members of the police force, times may have changed, but the craving for power remains the same.

Weinstein deserves more than just a slap on the wrist from Hollywood. His career as a producer should be over and he should go to jail with a sentence of 50 years to life max, and that’s gracious.

Why? Weinstien needs to be reprimanded and reminded (apparently he forgot) that it’s not acceptable to take advantage of others.

This isn’t about men versus women anymore, it’s about power and the abuse of it that happens way too often.

“With great power, comes great responsibility.”

This quote doesn’t just apply to Spider-Man, but for those like Weinstein who use their position to manipulate others.

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