SORRY if I’m not suitably impressed by a pack of morally and intellectually vacuous virtue signallers — who for years protected predators in their midst — wearing designer black and mouthing platitudes at one of their many annual awards shows, the Golden Globes.
These are the same people who turned a blind eye to the Harvey Weinsteins, James Tobacks and Kevin Spaceys — but now that we, the public, know their dirty secrets, they want to take a stand against sexual assault and harassment.
The same Hollywood elite who laud convicted child rapist Roman Polanski are lecturing the masses on standards of behaviour.
Sorry, not buying it. And neither is the woman who, in exposing the predatory predilections of the lecherous Weinstein, played a key role in launching the Me Too and Time’s Up campaigns, actor Rose McGowan: “Not one of those fancy people wearing black to honour our rapes would have lifted a finger had it not been so. I have no time for Hollywood fakery, but you I love, @AsiaArgento” she tweeted.
Argento, another of Weinstein’s victims, had earlier tweeted support for McGowan: “No one should forget that you were the first one who broke the silence. Anyone who tries to diminish your work is a troll and an enemy of the movement. You gave me the courage to speak out.”
Some of Weinstein’s accusers said they had been excluded from the Globes. Rosanna Arquette posted: “No, we weren’t invited. Annabella (Sciorra), Daryl (Hannah), Mira (Sorvino) none of us were. ” Argento also confirmed she wasn’t invited: “It would have been too much of a downer … an embarrassment. Victims aren’t glamorous enough.”
It would’ve been powerful to see these women embraced by an industry that has damaged them and destroyed their dreams.
Oscar-winner Sorvino, who was black-listed after rejecting Weinstein’s advances, is a victim of Hollywood’s ugly hypocrisy that preaches equality and human rights but treats women like commodities; an industry that too often gives a pass to misbehaving men. Johnny Depp and Charlie Sheen continue to earn top dollar despite their violent interactions with ex-partners. Among the stars donning Time’s Up badges were Justin Timberlake, who with Kate Winslet and Jim Belushi stars in Woody Allen’s latest movie, despite the director’s adopted daughter’s claims that he molested her and the fact that he married his ex-wife’s adopted daughter.
Award-winner James Franco was also dressed in black with the obligatory badge. At a media conference, he spoke about the industry supporting women: “It’s everyone’s responsibility to stand up and make change,” he said.
That didn’t sit too well with a number of women who have accused the actor of questionable behaviour, including actors Ally Sheedy, Sarah Tither-Kaplan and Violet Paley. Paley posted: “Cute #TimesUp pin James Franco. Remember the time you pushed my head down in a car towards your exposed penis & that other time you told my friend to come to your hotel when she was 17? After you had already been caught doing that to a different 17-year-old?”
In 2014, Franco tried to seduce a 17-year-old on Instagram. His defence reached Woody Allen levels of creepiness: “17 is legal in New York, but that being said, it’s still pretty damn young … they make it out like I’m pursuing young women. I’m not going to high schools looking for dates.”
If Hollywood really wanted to make a stand, perhaps it should’ve boycotted the program and the entire indulgent awards season.
Remember last year’s Golden Globes and the moral preening, particularly from Meryl Streep, who had previously called Weinstein “god” and gave a standing ovation to paedophile Polanski? This year’s Cecil B DeMille Award winner, Oprah Winfrey, is already being talked about as a future presidential candidate. Didn’t the US just elect a billionaire TV star who puts their name on everything they produce?
It would’ve been inspiring to see these privileged superstars acknowledge the oppressed women and men of Iran who for the past two weeks have risked their lives to protest against a brutal, misogynistic regimen. Or to say something to highlight the plight of Asia Bibi, the mother of five sentenced to death in Pakistan for blasphemy; or the thousands of Yazidi women still missing or enslaved by Islamic State.
But it was more of Hollywood’s self-obsessed, tokenistic grandstanding: heavy on style and low on substance.