By Aubrey Byron, News Editor
Last week, The New York Times broke the story that Harvey Weinstein had sexually harassed several women in Hollywood. Weinstein, a well-known producer behind renowned films such as “Gangs of New York,” “Pulp Fiction,” and “Shakespeare in Love,” faced allegations from a wide swath of accusers, including stars Ashley Judd and Rose McGowan.
The story, which is now being referred to as an “open secret” in the industry, has been followed up on by more accusations from stars like Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie, as well as more severe allegations of sexual assault. He has now been fired from his own company, The Weinstein Company, by fellow board members. Yet there is another name making headlines in the wake of these allegations—Hillary Clinton.
Weinstein donated a significant amount to Clinton’s presidential campaign in 2016 and has thrown lucrative fundraisers for Democrats in the past. Somehow these political contributions have led to accusations of Clinton’s culpability or at least knowledge of Weinstein’s crime. Other recipients of his donations include Senator Elizabeth Warren, Senator Al Franken, and former President Barack Obama. None of which have been implicated to the same extent in similar media coverage.
Several of the people closest to Weinstein have expressed ignorance of his behavior, including his brother, a partner on the board, and longtime co-workers such as Ben Affleck and Matt Damon. Weinstein’s wife, Georgina Chapman, has left him in the wake of these allegations.
Hollywood giants stayed mostly silent on the accusations as they emerged last week. Brie Larson, a long time sexual assault victim advocate, released a statement early on. It was not until more accusations came from more well-known names that other actors started chiming in.
So what is the responsibility of a former candidate and private citizen in the midst of accusations of someone she knows? There are none. Clinton, for her part, has expressed shock and disgust. On CNN, she stated, “I was just sick. I was shocked. I was appalled.” Like her other democratic colleagues, she has pledged to donate the money he gave to her to charity.
Weinstein’s alleged crimes are disgusting and unforgivable. But why is it that as a society we latch onto a woman to blame the crimes of men? Clinton is no stranger to this phenomenon, often blamed in her career for Bill’s accusers and sexual deviances.
The depth and sheer number of allegations has raised an important question in the industry of “Who knew?” Several accusers have alleged that Weinstein lured them to hotel rooms by masquerading the calls as important business meetings. Sometimes he would send the fax request through agents, according to claims in The New York Times.
It is almost certain in a pattern of behaviors that was this systematic, that he had enablers and perhaps even accessories, the possibility of which should be thoroughly investigated. However the connection to Clinton is a stretch at best and downright distracting from the point at worst.
After all the reprehensible nature of the allegations all but mirror those of the accusations that have previously been directed at President Donald Trump. So what exactly is it that conservatives are celebrating with this story?