Mr Weinstein, et al

Ahh! Harvey Weinstein has been in the news so much. His behavior towards women appalls me, but I’m not surprised. It’s amazing that it took so long for his misdeeds to come to light, but it was the same with Bill Cosby.

What the news hasn’t said though and I suppose they can’t without proof, is that this is common in the entertainment business, and has been for years. Some famous cases involve Fatty Arbuckle, whose victim died, Errol Flynn, Louis Meyer who lusted after and groped Judy Garland in her teens, studio heads who lusted after Shirley Temple, and countless others whose victims probably never became famous and were too afraid to speak out.

As distasteful as this news story is, it’s good that it’s come to light again. From working in Hollywood, though never directly experiencing sexual harassment, I did routinely hear of horrid behavior. Most television writers’ rooms are despicable, i.e. very much like what was presented on The Comeback. Churlish writers will spew all kinds of disgusting talk like jokes about how many abortions they think a particular performer has had. Some secretaries, who had to work amidst profanity and vicious talk, sued Friends because it was a hostile work environment, but lost because the judge figured that kind of talk was necessary for creativity. (I disagree.)

I remember being asked in an interview for an assistant position if I would mind if the producers swore a lot or swore at me. Why would they have to? Note – the producers were women. I remember temping at a studio and hearing violent threats and horrible profanity spewing from more than one executive. When I was working in the human resources office, I remember a secretary calling in fear. She had run out of her office when her boss started throwing staplers and ash trays at her. He frequently used cocaine at work.

I’ve been told that secretaries in some offices are expected to schedule prostitutes for their bosses.

This problem goes way beyond one man. It’s the work culture and civil behavior is the exception.

I hope more people come forward and the business cleans up its act. This behavior should not be tolerated. Is it any wonder how much swearing, violence and salacious sexual relationships feature so much in today’s films and shows? I realize this dates back to the 1920s, when films were innocent by comparison, but do we need brutes deciding what films are made and what aren’t?

I think Harvey won’t be back in the States till whatever statute of limitations passes. His seeking help seems insincere and I hope he’s extradited if charges are made.

I do hope this emboldens women to speak up. I understand how hard that is, but if a man knows what he does will become public, perhaps he’ll act more civilly. Let’s stop this harassment.

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Share Your World

I found this set of questions on Dawn’s blog, Lingering Visions.

When you leave a room, do you turn the lights off behind you or keep the lights on throughout your house most of the time?
I try to turn off the lights unless I’m planning to return soon. If I’m going out of my apartment, I’ll leave a light on for when I return.

What do you feel is the most enjoyable way to spend $500? 
I’d spend it on a writing class and an exercise course. Actually, that’s what I hope to do this fall.

Complete this sentence: My favorite thing to do on my cell phone is…
take photos. I don’t even have a working SIM card for the US. 

What inspired you this past week? Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination.
Hmmm . . . oh, I’d say my cousin who has quite an eBay shop. I may dip my toes into this area.

Optional Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?
I’m grateful for good friends. I was suddenly dismissed from my job in China and I’m fortunate to have good friends who’ve shared kind words.