Saturday 14 October 2017

Harvey Weinstein: The culture that sustained his behaviour for so long needs to change.

It's been incredible to watch the total collapse of Harvey Weinstein's personal and professional reputation over the last few weeks.

When you discover that his behaviour of sexual harassment against women has been an open secret in Hollywood for years, your first reaction is to think why was it allowed to continue for so long and why now are people speaking out.

In many respects this story isn't that shocking. You have a powerful and influential man in a glamorous industry who takes advantage of that power and influence to prey on and sexually harass women. The spotlight at the moment is on the movie industry but we all know that the culture of sexual harassment exists in many other industries and professions.

It's this culture that ultimately needs to change. Certainly in respects of Hollywood you need more women in positions of power and influence whether its directors and movie executives. You also need both men and women to change attitudes and behaviour. The sense of entitlement that men can feel towards women has to change and women must be made to feel comfortable and confident in raising issues of sexual harassment.

Weinstein was allowed to continue with his behaviour due to a culture where people were afraid to speak out, fearful of the negative impact it would have on their own careers. But there is also the legal and public relations power that Weinstein held which meant that many of the stories known about him could be suppressed and unknown to the wider public.

In following this story, two of the best and most interesting articles I've read were in the The New Yorker and the celebrity gossip website Popbitch.

I love reading the New Yorker. They always provide real detailed analysis on the topics they report on. This is exactly what they've done with this report on Weinstein that highlights just how consistent and systematic his bevaviour has been over the last 25 years.

From Aggressive Overtures to Sexual Assault: Harvey Weinstein’s Accusers Tell Their Stories

The article I read in Popbitch talks about the role that newspapers, magazines and online outlets play in maintaining a culture within the entertainment industry that allows sexual harassment to go unchallenged.

I thought this was an interesting point as when stories like this emerge it's natural that you wonder why nothing was reported earlier. Popbitch provide some answers to this question.

Inches for Inches

Have a read, you should find them interesting.

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