The easy way out shouldn’t be celebrated.
Harvey Weinstein, serial sexual abuser, Democrat donor and spawner of the MeToo movement, was arrested and charged late last week before being granted bail. As is to be expected, it was an MSM and Hollywood virtue signalling frenzy.
In an interview shortly after his arrest, NBC’s Megyn Kelly asked McGowan, “What would you say to him if he were watching this today?”
“We got you, we got you.” she answered.
We got you, Harvey Weinstein, we got you
— rose mcgowan (@rosemcgowan) May 25, 2018
I actually think it’s pretty gross the way Rose McGowan is gloating over this and the media have set her up as the face of the MeToo movement when she had a direct role in Weinstein’s continued perpetration of sexual abuse. I’ll explain;
Rose McGowan had first complained of Weinstein raping her in a hotel room after the 1997 Sundance Film Festival. She was young and a relatively unknown actress then. After raising the complaint, Amazon Studios head Roy Price ignored the claim and continued working with Weinstein, and cancelled McGowan’s project with the company. Facing the potential demise of her entire career, McGowan eventually settled out of court for $100,000 in an agreement that kept the allegations from going public.
Weinstein went on to have the opportunity to create many more victims (the total currently stands at around 80 women), and even repeated the out-of-court settlement strategy he had found success with in McGowan’s case. Though rumours of Weinstein’s sleaziness widely circulated, publicly he was praised as “a God” by the likes of Meryl Streep and fawned over by Oprah, leading entire generations worth of models and actresses to be preyed on by him.
Now I understand why Rose McGowan accepted the settlement. I understand the argument that there is a huge barrier to entry in speaking up when you are made the victim of something like this. In McGowan’s situation, going forward with the case looked like it would be career-ending. But there is a worse, less tangible punishment earned by compromising with evil; because of your choice, the world descends that little bit more into hell. A genuine criminal gets away at the cost of some hush money.
We can see the result of decades of this moral perversion in Hollywood. What these victims went through, and the many tendrils of the vast cultural, media and political apparatus set up to protect the abusers are the height of human evil. But the reality is these networks and cultures do exist, and they need to be fought with full measures, not half-measures. If McGowan hadn’t been willing to settle for a (relatively modest) sum of money, it would not have been 20 years before Weinstein was ‘got’.
There are moral absolutes, and they need to be enforced, sometimes by people who are victims thrust into horrible situations against their will. When a woman is beaten at the hands of her husband, she should divorce him immediately, because he is a monster. But the perpetration of that evil isn’t limited to and doesn’t end with her. If she doesn’t report it and carry through the process in court, which is a laborious and torturous process even if you have all the evidence for a conviction, he will do it again. That’s not to say that the woman is complicit in the husband’s future violence for wanting to avoid court altogether, but if our aim is really to purge our society of this evil, we must recognise that victims frequently have the opportunity to intervene, and choose to take the easier out. Taking that easier out makes the world worse for everyone. That easier out should not be celebrated.
The part of the Weinstein saga that those who swallow the MeToo narrative unquestionably just don’t get is that the rest of the world already knew Hollywood was a morally decrepit place where things like this happen often. Weinstein’s lawyer was right on Friday when he said “Harvey Weinstein didn’t invent the casting couch”. Though Weinstein has become the current face of the sleazy Hollywood culture, it doesn’t and won’t live and die with him. The idea that the MeToo movement will embolden more victims to come forward and take down abusers is certainly valid, especially in industries with less direct ties to the politically powerful. But it will take much more fortitude than Rose McGowan displayed in 1997 to transform the entire culture of a place as heavily ingrained in moral filth as Hollywood.
Pop and Locke is a libertarian-traditionalist popular culture and politics blog bringing you news, opinions, analysis and reviews that cut through the mainstream mould. It was inspired by an appreciation for Western political and philosophical tradition and a fascination with our increasingly wacky popular culture.