If you don’t know Harvey Weinstein, he’s a monster. The very monster who ignited the #MeToo movement and became the posterchild for disgraced movie directors and producers we’re not tolerating anymore.
In 2017, Weinstein was accused of sexual harassment, assault, and rape by a plethora of women. With his January trial date approaching, it appears Weinstein may be remerging in some of his old hunting grounds.
Weinstein is currently out on $1 million bail, after pleading not guilty to all charges laid out against him.
The disgraced former movie-mogul was spotted attending an Actor’s Hour at Downtime Bar on New York’s Lower East Side, with a group of friends.
The kicker is: this Actor’s Hour is an invite-only event for young performers.
So how, may I ask, did Harvey Weinstein- the man accused of assaulting more than 75 women- secure an invite to an event for YOUNG PERFORMERS.
This is only made worse by the fact that Weinstein has built his career on his ability to build other people’s careers, including some of the women that accused him of sexual misconduct. And now, we see him at an Actor’s Hour scouting out new performers.
Some attendees and performers made their discomfort known to Weinstein and the audience alike. Comedian Kelly Bachman, referred to Weinstein as the “Freddy Kruger in the room.”
Two other attendees, actor Zoe Stuckless and comedian Amber Rollo confronted Weinstein at his table and voiced their outrage.
In a video obtained by Buzzfeed, curtesy of Zoe Stuckless, the actor is seen standing at Weinstein’s table and point at him while shouting: “I’ll get out of here, that’s fine, I am happy to leave, but nobody is going to say anything?” I’m going to stand four feet from a fucking rapist, and no one is going to say anything?”
Rollo then supported Stuckless, saying: “She’s right, you’re a fucking monster. What are you doing out here? Fuck you.”
The two were then thrown out by what appeared to be Weinstein’s bodyguards.
Rollo later urged her followers on Twitter not to support Downtime Bar and wrote:
“An event that was supposed to support actors and artists invited a serial rapist who has ruined at least 87 actors lives and supported that monster over an actor in the room. They supported HIM over all the actors in the room.”
— Downright Rude (Amber Rollo) (@ambercrollo) October 24, 2019
The most shocking part is not those that spoke out against his presence in the space, but rather those that chose to speak out in support of him.
In the video showing a portion of Bachman’s set whereby she calls out Weinstein, audience members are heard ‘booing’ her and telling her to ‘shut up.’
“I didn’t know we had to bring our own Mace and a rape whistles to Actor’s Hour,” Bachman said.
Alexandre Laliberte, the organiser of Actor’s Hour, told Buzzfeed News it was the second time Weinstein has attended one of her events. She stated that she does not have a security team, and thus chose to allow the community to address him rather than turning him away.
“I welcome all walks of life into my space…comedians made fun of him. This one lady stood up and screamed at him. People walked out, which was fantastic.”
The Downtime Bar Facebook page did not share this same sentiment, as it shared a comment dubbing Stuckless a ‘heckler’.
“Shortly into the evening, one guest began heckling another, causing a disturbance to everyone in attendance. After several requests to stop were ignored, we kindly asked the heckler to leave,” it said.
In another statement, the organisation also apologised “wholeheartedly for the way the situation was handled.”
Then made a post stating: “Please know that our goal at Downtime is to create an environment where everyone feels welcome. We respect the privacy of our patrons and event partners, and want to ensure that all guests are treated equally, with the same service and respect. In keeping with this goal, we made a decision that would allow the evening to continue as planned.”
Although Laliberte went on to deny that she invited Weinstein, according to Buzzfeed, Rollo and Bachman claimed they were told by other event organisers that Labliberte had specifically allocated that table for her industry contacts.
It seems the organisation can’t seem to stick to one position.
The takeaway from this, however, is that Weinstein is out testing the public’s reaction to him and attending events whereby new and young performers are supposed to share their art in a safe space.
Let me paint you a picture here: Weinstein, sat in the corner of the room, calm, quiet, appearing reasonable. The women (rightfully) voicing their concerns: loud, shrill, dragged out of the venue.
The event organisers, Downtime Bar, seems to have their story a little confused when it comes to defending their allowance of Weinstein’s attendance.
If this doesn’t sound like a man that’s attempting to reshape his image in order to pry his way back into an industry that has shunned him, then perhaps I should remind you of Mel Gibson.
Vox news originally delved into Gibson’s reputation-reincarnation theory, so allow me to break it down for our FIB readers.
Mel Gibson was disgraced In 2006, when a video of him ranting anti-Semitic slurs while being arrested for drunk driving surfaced. Following this in 2010, audio tapes leaked that heard the mother of Gibson’s child accusing him of hitting her so hard that he broke her teeth while she was holding their child.
I’ll spare you the details of Gibson’s response to her in the tapes, but I will tell you it involved assault claims, racial slurs, and victim blaming.
Gibson lost everything, faced criminal consequences, pleaded no contest to misdemeanour battery charges, served probation, went through court-ordered counselling, and paid $600 in fines.
So how did he go on to be nominated for an Oscar for Best Director in 2017 and continue to have a career in the industry?
He did what Weinstein is doing now.
They both removed themselves from the public eye for some time. They both began making small appearances in public, appearing quiet and reserved, supposedly not wanting to draw attention to themselves.
Then, they begin repainting their narrative. Victimising themselves.
Gibson said: “Imagine the worst moment you have ever had being recorded and broadcasted to the world and it wasn’t meant to be public. You didn’t stand on a soapbox and do it, but that’s what happens, you know.”
Weinstein’s position (as shared by his representative): “Harvey Weinstein was out with friends enjoying the music and trying to find some solace in his life that has been turned upside down. This scene was uncalled for, downright rude and an example of how due process today is being squashed by the public, trying to take it away in the courtroom too.”
Gibson also used representatives to speak on his behalf, in the form of Robert Downey Jr. and Jodie Foster.
So let’s see.
Victim blaming: check.
Victimisation of (alleged) perpetrator: check.
Sheer lack of remorse: check.
Calling upon friends with power to speak out on their behalf: check.
There you have it folks, Weinstein is taking the Gibson road right down to Hollywood. It appears these men don’t want you to forgive, they want you to forget.
As a former famed producer with films that soared through the box office, it only takes a handful of ignorant individuals seeking money, fame, or clout to ensure a path to Weinstein’s return to the industry.
But for now, we’ll be waiting on his January trial.
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