RACHEL JOHNSON: The Weinstein film I want to see? The one where he goes to jail
Haven’t we all seen this one already? It’s all a bit familiar. We’ve already seen Act One. The opening scenes in lurid Technicolor and booming Dolby surround sound depict the headlong fall from grace of the big dog of La La Land, the King of Hollywood, Mr Harvey Weinstein, 65.
As the brown stuff meets the fan and the allegations of sexual offences swirl and multiply he blames everyone but himself, insisting that he is one of the ‘good guys’.
He blames his victims, willing women who enjoyed ‘consensual’ moments after he’d ordered them up to his suite like room service then allegedly exposed himself, masturbated, demanded massages with oils – and worse.
He blames his age. ‘I came of age in the 1960s and 1970s, when all the rules about behaviour and workplaces were different,’ one of his many whiny, exculpatory statements ran.
He blames his ‘demons’. At no point does he ever, once, blame himself or take responsibility.
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Like so many alleged abusers, when confronted with living, breathing, sobbing evidence of his acts, he enters a higher state... of denial, says RACHEL JOHNSON
Like so many alleged abusers, when confronted with living, breathing, sobbing evidence of his acts, he enters a higher state... of denial.
Act Two heralds a change of tone. He appears dishevelled, contrite. His daughter calls the cops and he’s on suicide watch.
He appears to acknowledge he has sinned (this is important when it comes to the grace notes of Act Three) but the message is still very clear.
Melania flies into West Virginia
Mrs Trump looked super-cute in her Cefinn green shirt dress (£295) by Sam Cam. I’d look like a jumbo sack of Birds Eye peas in it, but ex-model Melania carries everything off, as indeed does the slender Mrs Cameron herself. Sam C says that her range is ‘for busy women who love fashion’. Surely she means ‘First Ladies with long legs and deep pockets’?
This is not about sex crime – it’s about sex addiction. He’s therefore not a predator, he’s sick. And sad. He talks about honouring his Mom’s memory a lot. The takeaway is that this is not his bad. It’s just a fault in his stars, like that weepy date movie.
He tells reporters in La La Land: ‘You know what, we all make mistakes. Second chance I hope.’
Message: he’s just a regular mogul who wants to listen to the community, choose a better path and do better.
So he flies off to a $7,000-a-night ‘heavy therapy’ facility in the Rockies or somewhere, where he can get to spend the whole of every day – not just the part of his day when he is forcing himself on shuddering younger women – in a bathrobe.
THERE he gets to talk about his ‘childhood wounds’ and he can even try to reprogramme himself, through rebirthing and reparenting, out of his compulsion to have women watch him masturbate and so on.
And there’s no doubting his motivation. Because never forget, this is Harvey’s own preferred script.
Act Three has yet to be screened, but the end, according to what Harvey is clearly story-boarding for himself, goes like this:
We watch through our fingers as he comes out of rehab a changed man. He repents.
As the legendary producer knows, Hollywood loves a great comeback story more than anything. After a few years quiet penance running a foundation for women in film and giving lots of money away, the industry takes him back with open arms, just as it took back Woody Allen, Mel Gibson, Martha Stewart and Roman Polanski before him.
In the Harvey Weinstein biopic, Harvey: The Resurrection (working subtitle, The Bathrobe Returns), possibly directed by Oliver Stone or Mel Gibson, the story ends with full redemption.
It’s not the 1960s and the 1970s now. We’re not in Kansas any more. We’re in 2017, where women call this stuff out for what it is, or is alleged to be: sexual assaults going back many decades
We’ve all seen that movie before many times. Sigh.
But wait – like Glenn Close rearing out of the bath in Fatal Attraction – it’s not over!
There is an alternative ending.
It’s not the 1960s and the 1970s now. We’re not in Kansas any more. We’re in 2017, where women call this stuff out for what it is, or is alleged to be: sexual assaults going back many decades.
There’s a darker ending to the movie: the big fat producer goes to prison for a long time. He’s finished. That’s it.
I know it’s unlikely as it’s not the movie Harvey would greenlight, and he’s a powerful, rich white guy with a lot of friends on both coasts. A lot of friends who must have known he was a philandering creep, but who chose to turn a blind eye.
But this is America, folks. Anything is possible. Even that.
A passport out of Brexit...
Sunlight Uplands Update: as the country nears the cliff-edge of no deal, Kent being concreted over for lorry parks and all air traffic being grounded – while the Government refuses to publish reports on the sector-by-sector impact of Brexit – may I make a helpful suggestion?
The Passport Office should be told to print out a job lot of our old navy hardback passports. It should post them out to all 17.4 million people who voted Leave, with a covering note announcing that Britain has left the EU. Then we can all carry on as before. Job done!
➤➤ SHOPPING Report! Spiralisers, satnavs and cummerbunds (!) are out, says John Lewis. Egg cups, avocado slicers and pool inflatables – vast blow-ups in the shape of watermelons, doughnuts, and flamingos – are in. Bizarre… as I am reliably told inflatables are also the item most left behind at holiday villas (even more than discarded damp copies of Fifty Shades Darker). It’s the new form of consumer colonisation – we shop here and drop abroad. Oh well, at least there will always be some corner of a foreign pool that is forever England.
Quotes of the week
‘The Chancellor should be putting the country before the infighting in his own party, and refrain from acting like Basil Fawlty on holiday.’
Labour’s Peter Dowd criticises Philip Hammond after he branded the EU ‘the enemy’.
‘Unfortunately I looked like a walrus having an anaphylactic shock.’
The Rev Richard Coles, who was voted off Strictly Come Dancing last week.
‘I tried calling to say happy birthday. He was on the other line to his agent discussing next year’s theatre tour.’
Gyles Brandreth reveals his friend Nicholas Parsons, 94, is showing no sign of slowing down.
‘From House Of Cards to Mean Girls in just a few decades.’
Former No 10 speechwriter Clare Foges bemoans the decline of the Tories’ once ruthless party machine.
‘Shame on those two. Would they have done the same in front of a Christian chapel, a Jewish temple or a Muslim mosque?’
Rhodes official Giorgos Eleftheriou after British newlyweds posted a lewd photo of themselves in front of a Greek Orthodox monastery.
‘Six foot two, muscular and permanently young.’
Neil Kinnock’s quip after being asked how he would liked to be remembered.
‘Harvey Weinstein’s wife leaves him after finding out she’s the only woman in Hollywood he hasn’t tried it on with.’
Emma Thompson during an interview on BBC Newsnight with Emily Maitlis
Have I Got News For You tweets its take on the sex scandal involving the movie mogul.
‘I spent my 20s trying to get old men’s tongues out of my mouth.’
Emma Thompson, on how she was forced to deal with predatory men.