Harvey Weinstein, formerly one of the most powerful and influential individuals in all of entertainment, has been outed as an (alleged) rapist, a molester, a sexual assaulter, and a generally all-around disgusting excuse for a human being, with now-countless allegations of sexual misconduct, violent behavior, and straight-up rape. In a few short days, he’s gone from the 2nd most-thanked individual at the Oscars (ahead of “God” even – LITERALLY) to being kicked out of his own company, separated from his wife, and treated like a pile of toxic sludge by everyone else in Hollywood.
And people are SHOCKED! This kind, gentle man, beloved by all – Harvey Weinstein – a grotesque, abusive pervert? If only there had been any hints or signs before!
Oh wait. There was. Because literally everyone knew – it was an open secret that was regularly discussed and shrugged off. The problem was that even in the face of everyone acknowledging what a monster Harvey Weinstein was, his influence and grip on the industry was so immense that no one could really do anything about it for fear of being blackballed and having their careers and livelihoods destroyed….except for the true power players – other major executives and huge superstars, who had the ability to shine a light onto his behavior and still chose to look the other way.
But in spite of the risks involved, a few people and shows tried calling out Harvey Weinstein – if only anyone had been taking them seriously.
1. 30 Rock
Yes – in addition to calling out Bill Cosby years before his eventual fall from grace (which was sparked by comedian Hannibal Buress – although, again, the allegations about Bill Cosby were well-known at that point too), 30 Rock openly and blatantly called out Weinstein for being an aggressive show business executive who made women sleep with him for roles and favors (and just to not have their careers destroyed). In retrospect, this joke was a LOT darker than anyone gave it credit for.
And this wasn’t even the only time Jenna was used to call out Weinstein – there’s a (possibly even darker) reference later on in the series:
30 Rock tried to warn us. We should have listened.
2. Seth MacFarlane
One of the reasons the 30 Rock call out is so solid and devastating is that it jokes about Harvey Weinstein’s behavior in the context of an absurdist send-up of showbiz. Seth Macfarlane’s tactic is similar, but juuuust a little more distasteful:
Seth McFarlane: “The 2012 nominees for best performance by an actress in a supporting role, are:
- Sally Field in “Lincoln”
- Anne Hathaway in “Le Miserables”
- Jacki Weaver in “Silver Linings Playbook”
- Helen Hunt in “The Sessions”
- Amy Adams in “The Master”.
Congratulations, you 5 ladies no longer have to pretend to be attracted to Harvey Weinstein.”
On the one hand, it’s a bold thing to call out Harvey Weinstein and the power he’s able to exert over actresses in the movie business in front of everyone during the Oscar nomination announcements. On the other hand, it DOES belittle these five women at what should be an incredibly proud moment in their lives…and comes with the possibility that Harvey Weinstein DID assault any or all of them at some point in their careers.
Since the news about Harvey Weinstein’s accusers has come out, MacFarlane has elaborated on the incident – claiming he was doing it in service of his friendship to actress Jessica Barth:
“I couldn’t resist the opportunity to take a hard swing in his direction. Make no mistake, this came from a place of loathing and anger. There is nothing more abhorrent and indefensible than abuse of power such as this.”
For all the hate MacFarlane gets on a regular basis online, he really deserves some props for this.
3. EVEN ENTOURAGE CALLED HIM OUT
If ever there were a show that perpetuated toxic masculinity and questionable sexual consent, it would prrrrrrobably be Entourage (and I say this as someone who watched and enjoyed most of the show). Yet even the story of Vinnie and his boys from Queens and their adventures in partying and buying sneakers had the balls to portray Harvey Weinstein as a volatile, dangerous individual – with the LEAST SUBTLY-NAMED fake name ever, “Harvey Weingard.”
Weingard was a big-time producer in the world of Entourage (which apparently takes place in an alternate universe that’s very similar to our own, except there’s a guy named Vinnie Chase who’s got absolutely no acting chops or charisma and yet still gets cast all the time) who the boys continually screw over, usually to their own detriment. The first time involved accepting a movie offer for Vince, only to later back out of the deal with the hopes of landing the role of Aquaman for James Cameron (the idea of an “Aquaman movie” seemed insanely implausible in the mid-2000s) – and the 2nd time involving agreeing to sell him Vince’s dream project Medellin, only to pull back the offer when they thought they could get a better deal post-Cannes. In both instances, Harvey Weingard flies into a blind violent rage, lunging at the characters and threatening their lives and careers.
And hell, this isn’t even the first “scoop” that Entourage had called long ago in the past month – they also did a full episode about what a gross creep Ain’t It Cool News editor-in-chief Harry Knowles was back in season 2’s Comic-Con episode, where “R.J. Spencer” (they were a little better at names with this one), played by Rainn Wilson, demanded a bribe in exchange for giving Aquaman positive coverage on his influential movie blog – and the only way to get him to call off his threats was to deliver him multiple porn stars.
And recently, it came out that Harry Knowles had committed multiple acts of sexual assault against women in the film journalism community (and had been sending out lewd texts and DMs) – another outing of a gross-but-influential man that came far too late.
In other words, we should absolutely listen to everything Entourage has to say. Is Seth Green a huge dick in real life? Only time will tell…