This Week in Feminist Politics: From Harvey Weinstein's Arrest, to Morgan Freeman's Open Harassment Caught on Video (Disgusting), and Movie Studios Now Giving Woman Led Films the Time of Day
- Cuff him! And stuff him! Harvey Weinstein, in a baby blue sweater, was charged on Friday in New York. “He was marched into the New York criminal court like some low-level thug — like some mob operator, like some drug dealer, like some terrorism suspect — charged with three felonies, saddled with an ankle monitoring device and forced to hand over his passport.” His accusers have been speaking out in public, vociferously this week leading up the Weinstein turning himself in. “In 1997, I was raped by Harvey Weinstein here at Cannes. I was 21 years old,” Asia Argento said in France this week. “This festival was his hunting ground,” she told the Cannes audience. “We got you, Harvey Weinstein,” Rose MacGowan Tweeted on Friday morning. “We got you.”
- Lisa Respers France of CNN did an amazing job Friday of recounting the long and hard fall of Harvey Weinstein, who has been accused by more than 80 women in instances of sexual harassment that goes back decades. "’Even if [Manhattan District Attorney] Cyrus Vance is not able to win in court, he still faces all of the civil allegations,’ attorney and crisis management expert Richard Levick told CNN. ‘He is no more redeemable than Bill Cosby." Lux Alptraum writes for NBC’s Think that while it was cathartic to see Weinstein being led out in cuffs doing the perp walk, there is more going on here. “A system that ignores the crimes of monstrous serial predators like Weinstein and Cosby is a system that fails to keep women safe,” she writes. ”But a system that only holds men like Weinstein and Cosby accountable because their alleged crimes make international headlines is not much better,” she concludes.
- “Every day I feel like another one bites the dust,” Samantha Bee asked Molly Ringwald on Thursday as the Morgan Freeman sexual harassment story broke. “Did you have any idea that there were just so many creeps in our business?” A 2015 interview with Morgan Freeman, trans activist and “ET Correspondent” Janet Mock experienced sexual harassment caught on tape. The CNN exposé shows Freeman telling mock, “I don’t know how you all manage to do that all the time … You got a dress halfway between your knee and your hips, and you sit down right across from me and cross your legs.” There is now a rush to review tapes of the 80 year old actor's behavior to women reporters during press junkets for his various projects.
- Bollywood actress Kareena Kapoor Khan said she is not a feminist – but that she believes in the equality of the sexes. Say, what? According to GeoTV, the actress said at the launch of her new movie, “I believe in equality. I wouldn’t say I am a feminist, I would say I am a woman and above all, I am a human being. I am also as proud to be known as Saif Ali Khan’s wife, as I am to be Kareena Kapoor. So that is just the way I am.” But the Twitterverse was not impressed with this definition. The OED defines feminism as the advocacy of women’s rights from the grounds of sexual equality. Here are some of the responses to her gaffe on social media.
- Are supermodels becoming a thing of the past? Start-up company Lively is using not just real people but real customers with realistic body types as models for their new lingerie lines. The company was founded in 2016 by Michelle Cordeiro Grant, a former Victoria’s Secret executive. “There was only one problem: her data showed that customers were less likely to click through to purchase an item when a curvy, normally proportioned woman was shown wearing it,” Fast Company notes. “Two years later, that dynamic has flipped.” The company’s community, from the blog to social media, reflects a post-Harvey Weinstein ethos. “(Grant) Says she began to see the switch as the #MeToo movement gathered steam, uncovering sexual harassment and gender discrimination in virtually every corner of society. ‘The Me Too movement started so many conversations …’”
- The Vulture compiles a list of every upcoming action film with a woman lead. The much anticipated spy-thriller 355, which is quickly in development in Hollywood, is a typical story in this pro-feminist, post #MeToo moment in the industry. "Jessica Chastain brought this one to Simon Kinberg when they were on the set of X-Men: Dark Phoenix, and he liked the idea so much he agreed to direct and help her develop it. Chastain then called up Marion Cotillard, Penélope Cruz, Lupita Nyong’o, and Fan Bingbing, and they all agreed to join the cast and travel to Cannes to pitch the movie to studio buyers, where it was promptly snatched up for a lot of money.” I am so there.