The Scene:

Harvey Weinstein – the disgraced Hollywood producer and power broker – surrendered to police on Friday, and was promptly arraigned on charges of first and third-degree rape and a slate of other crimes. Weinstein has become a metonymy for the new wave of awareness on actively combating sexual misconduct of all forms.

The Takes:

  • University of California Berkeley: Shannon O’Hara and Sophie Marie-Prime’s piece in The Daily Californian highlights how as a producer, Weinstein can exert greater influence over more actresses than even alleged-abusers like Woody Allen or Casey Affleck could: “Weinstein is more nebulous... yet his power, his money and therefore his influence (along with that of the Weinstein Company, Miramax, etc.) are everywhere.” Further, they note the hypocrisy that undergirds Hollywood culture, citing Kate Winslet’s rebuke of Weinstein’s actions as ‘disgraceful and appalling, while accepting a role in Woody Allen’s next film.

  • USC: After The New York Times’ published allegations against him, Weinstein made “a $5 million pledge for a foundation to support female filmmakers,” but USC rejected the pledge. However, it had initially suggested the donation would go through, explaining that USC “began discussions with Mr. Weinstein over a year ago to fund a $5 million endowment in his mother’s honor dedicated to scholarships for women filmmakers.”

  • Harvard University: Harvard decided to rescind the W.E.B Dubois medal they awarded Weinstein in 2014 shortly after the allegations. The award is Harvard’s most prestigious honor for contributions to African-American culture and community and has recognized Oprah Winfrey, Muhammad Ali, and Maya Angelou in past.

  • USC: Kylie Cheung offers a stinging rebuke of Donald Trump Jr. and other GOP’s selective outrage when it comes to sexual assault noting “The younger Trump reacted to news…the way children react to Christmas morning.” She continues to note the hypocrisy in his attention to this politically favorable news, and showed no remorse or acknowledgment of the Access Hollywood tapes, claiming that this behavior is “reflective of a larger epidemic in patriarchal society.”

The Bottom Line:

Almost all of the reviews of Weinstein’s heinous acts are critical, yet some couch their critique in mitigating language. When Matt Damon noted that there are varying degrees of severity when it comes to sexual assault, his statement – while logically sound – was met with harsh backlash as some found it insufficiently critical of Weinstein. Furthermore, #MeToo movement has become a forceful tool to crowdsource support for victims, and out alleged harassers and abusers via social media. 

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