19 October 2017

Hollywood's Double Standard in Weinstein And Clinton Cases

Weinstein and Clinton
Not only was Harvey Weinstein a political ally and a major donor to Hillary and Bill Clinton and the Clinton Foundation, but his alleged sexual misconduct has refocused attention on Bill's own checkered past as the tide turns against powerful men who take advantage of women.

"The question is on everyone’s lips: how could we have let Weinstein’s crimes continue for so long? Yet there’s little in the Weinstein story — the years of whispers of impropriety, the past allegations by women, the intimate connection with a party that advertises itself as a defender of women — that doesn’t apply to Bill Clinton," said Jacobin’s Branko Marcetic.

Another connection emerged last 16 October with reports that Weinstein gave the maximum US$ 10,000 to Bill Clinton while he was in the White House to fund his legal defense during the independent counsel’s perjury investigation related to his relationship with Ms. Lewinsky.

She was a 22-year-old White House intern and he was commander-in-chief when they had an affair, which she later described as a "mutual" relationship. Another three women — Juanita Broaddrick, Paula Jones and Kathleen Willey — have accused him of sexual harassment or assault.

Other Hollywood bigwigs who helped Clinton cover the costs of his defense include Tom Hanks, Michael Douglas and Barbara Streisand, along with studio executives David Geffen and Jeffrey Katzenberg, according to the 1998 article in the Washington Post.

Katzenberg was among those in Hollywood who has denounced Weinstein after more than a dozen women accused him of sexual harassment or assault.

"You have done terrible things to a number of women over a period of years," said Katzenberg in an email to Weinstein that he released publicly. "I cannot in any way say this is OK with me ... It’s not at all, and I am sickened by it, angry with you and incredibly disappointed in you."

Other celebrities have since been accused of misconduct in what director Woody Allen — himself no stranger to sexual-abuse allegations — has warned could become a "witch-hunt atmosphere," but so far Clinton has largely received a pass from Hollywood and the left.

Clinton's name was notably missing when the feminist publication Jezebel cited "Harvey Weinstein, Bill Cosby, Bill O’Reilly, R. Kelly, Roger Ailes, and Donald Trump" as "not the only men who have allegedly abused women from positions of great power."

One celebrity who did break ranks was chef Anthony Bourdain, who criticized Clintons interview on CNN as “shameful in its deflection and disingenuousness," sparking a backlash from Clinton supporters and aides.

The right hasn't held back. After actor George Clooney condemned Weinstein’s behavior by citing Ailes and Cosby, fellow actor James Woods came out swinging.

"Did you forget President #BillClinton, George? The power imbalance between him and a helpless intern is prima facie sexual harassment," said Woods, an outspoken conservative, on Twitter.

Clinton has moved to shift attention to President Trump, telling the BBC in an interview that "we have someone admitting to being a sexual assaulter in the Oval Office."

Former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski didn’t let the comment slide, noting that Clinton ended up paying US$ 850,000 to settle the Paula Jones case and resigned from the Supreme Court bar rather than face disbarment for lying under oath.

"There was a sexual assaulter in the White House. He was called Bill Clinton," Lewandowski said on Fox News, adding, “That’s the sexual assaulter she should be talking about in the White House."