A screenwriter who was part of the golden age of Miramax, Harvey Weinstein’s studio, has come forward with a stunning confession and condemnation of, and apology for, the culture in which Weinstein was able to pressure, molest, harass, and assault dozens upon dozens of women.
Scott Rosenberg is the screenwriter behind the films Beautiful Girls and Things To Do In Denver When You’re Dead and describes his close relationship with Weinstein, who he calls a “golden goose” in the midst of Miramax’s heyday when indie films were rising to popularity.
“So, uh, yeah. We need to talk about Harvey,” Rosenberg begins.
I was there, for a big part of it.
From, what, 1994 to the early 2000s?
Something like that.
Certainly The Golden Age.
The “PULP FICTION”, “SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE”, “CLERKS”, “SWINGERS”, “SCREAM”, “GOOD WILL HUNTING”, “ENGLISH PATIENT”, “LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL” years…
He explains how the Weinstein brothers made his first two films and kickstarted a lucrative career, explaining that they “anointed” him in these early days.
“They gave me my career,” he says. “I was barely 30. I was sure I had struck gold.”
So, yeah, I was there.
And let me tell you one thing.
Let’s be perfectly clear about one thing:
Not that he was raping.
No, that we never heard.
But we were aware of a certain pattern of overly-aggressive behavior that was rather dreadful.
We knew about the man’s hunger; his fervor; his appetite.
There was nothing secret about this voracious rapacity; like a gluttonous ogre out of the Brothers Grimm.
All couched in vague promises of potential movie roles.
(and, it should be noted: there were many who actually succumbed to his bulky charms. Willingly. Which surely must have only impelled him to cast his fetid net even wider).
But like I said: everybody-****ing-knew.
He goes on to explain that while Harvey’s behavior is reprehensible, a close second is the “current flood of sanctimonious denial and condemnation that now crashes upon these shores of rectitude in gloppy tides of bull**** righteousness.”
Rosenberg takes personal responsibility, knowing full well that he knows everyone else in Miramax’s culture knew, because he was there, and he knew as well. It was completely out in the open.
I was there.
And I saw you.
And I talked about it with you.
You, the big producers; you, the big directors; you, the big agents; you, the big financiers.
And you, the big rival studio chiefs; you, the big actors; you, the big actresses; you, the big models.
You, the big journalists; you, the big screenwriters; you, the big rock stars; you, the big restaurateurs; you, the big politicians.
He says that while no one may have really realized the extent to which Weinstein was abusing women, that it would have been impossible for him and anyone else in Weinstein’s circle to deny what was going on. “We knew something was bubbling under,” he says. “Something odious. Something rotten.”
Rosenberg explains that while there was likely valid concern, from him and everyone else, admitting this was pathetic, he asks, what would we have them do? Weinstein was at the top of the dogpile in Hollywood, and had they alerted the authorities, their careers would have been over, the old “you’ll never work in this town again” threat was all to real to these budding actors, actresses, directors, and writers.
“Not to mention,” he adds, “most of the victims chose not to speak out.”
“But, yes,” he repeats, “everyone knew someone who had been on the receiving end of lewd advances by him. Or knew someone who knew someone.”
Rosenburg explains, however, touching stunningly on the allure of fame, money, influence, and all the temptation of the glitz and galmour of Hollwood life.
And here’s where the slither meets the slime:
Harvey was showing us the best of times.
He was making our movies.
Throwing the biggest parties.
Taking us to The Golden Globes!
Introducing us to the most amazing people (Meetings with Vice President Gore! Clubbing with Quentin and Uma! Drinks with Salman Rushdie and Ralph Fiennes! Dinners with Mick Jagger and Warren-freaking-Beatty!).
Weinstein brought Rosenburg on lavish vacations, got him tickets to exclusive Broadway shows, was generous and exciting and, beyond this, Weinstein’s inner circle believed in their impression of what he was doing for the movie business.
But never mind us!
What about what he was doing for the culture?
Making stunningly splendid films at a time when everyone else was cranking-out simpering “INDEPENDENCE DAY” rip-offs.
It was glorious.
All of it.
So what if he was coming on a little strong to some young models who had moved mountains to get into one of his parties?
Calling Weinstein a “golden goose”, Rosenburg adds, “As the old joke goes: We needed the eggs.”
Okay, maybe we didn’t NEED them. But we really, really, really, really LIKED them eggs.
So we were willing to overlook what the Golden Goose was up to, in the murky shadows behind the barn…
To his credit, Rosenburg recognizes how low-down this was, and offers the best apology he can:
And for that, I am eternally sorry.
To all of the women that had to suffer this…
I am eternally sorry.
I’ve worked with Mira and Rosanna and Lysette.
I’ve known Rose and Ashley and Claire for years…
Their courage only hangs a lantern on my shame.
And I am eternally sorry to all those who suffered in silence all this time.
And have chosen to remain silent today.
So, yeah, I am sorry.
Sorry and ashamed.
Because, in the end, I was complicit.
Harvey was nothing but wonderful to me.
So I reaped the rewards and I kept my mouth shut.
And for that, once again, I am sorry.
He’s not the only one who should be sorry though:
But you should be sorry, too.
With all these victims speaking up…
To tell their tales.
Shouldn’t those who witnessed it from the sidelines do the same?
Instead of retreating to the cowardly, canopied confines of faux-outrage?
You know who are.
You know that you knew.
And do you know how I know that you knew?
Because I was there with you.
And because everybody-****ing-knew.
This is a poignant summation of the allure of Hollywood fame. How many of these actresses that were abused by Weinstein were silent because they held on to their dreams of “making it?” How many other screenwriters, directors, actors, producers, technicians, knew exactly what was going on with Weinstein, but held their tongues as well?
Good on Rosenburg for coming forward and admitting his complicity and for calling out the fraud outrage in Hollywood. This is nothing new.
Activist Mommy explains how Hollywood has been covering for Weinstein and other perverts for decades: