Spacey. Piven. Ratner. Apres le Deluge

The big question now is no longer “who’s next?”  That question seems to be answering itself.  Everyone. Everyone will be next.

Lots of little to medium-sized to now somewhat big names are coming out. And the standards of what is needed for a takedown are falling by the hour.

The very biggest names unfortunately take time. Given how well people with all the resources in the world in this business are able to cover up their misdeeds – the armies of courtiers trailing behind, each writing checks and making things right – these stories are very hard to tell, even with the mobs roaming the streets. It’s one thing for Andy Dick’s or James Toback’s victims to come forward, but even after the explosion, a titan of Hollywood is still a fearsome thing, with a lot of carrots and sticks at their disposal.

We’re living in this strange in-between moment, when no one knows quite how far this will go; how much the inertia of the old order will be able to withstand the pressure.  Even after the fall of the Bastille, four long years passed before the execution of Louis XVI, and in that period, things could’ve worked out lots of ways.  Had Louis been any kind of leader at all, they very well might have worked out lots of ways, a lesson our leadership currently hiding in the Carlsbad Caverns might take to heart.

So right now, we’ve got Harvey Weinstein, Roy Price, Brett Ratner, Kevin Spacey, Jeremey Piven, James Toback, Andy Dick, the Lionsgate guy, and a handful of agents.  This is the low hanging fruit.  We’ll see how high up the tree the revolution can get, but there are major journalistic investigations swirling around and they are definitely pointed northward of Andy Dick and James Toback.

Does anyone doubt that we haven’t even scratched the tip of the iceberg here.  If we’re getting into underage accusations, let’s start with anyone who toured with a rock band circa 1965 – 1985, and work our way forward from there.  There are plenty of circles in this town where cultivation of bacchanalian liberties have always been central.  The possibility that in these circles, extremely powerful people who felt they were immune from any sort of basic standards of behavior, with unlimited access to young people desperate to break into this industry – throw in a smattering of drugs and alcohol here and there, a docile media, corporations devoted to covering their tracks – I think we might find out a lot of lines got crossed a lot of times.

What do you do with all these people?  For starters, we’ve built up this whole infrastructure of milking every bit of blood out of every ounce of fame and prestige we’ve created: awards upon awards, banquets, endorsements, footprints, stars in the sidewalks, not to mention every kind of commercial endorsement and public appearance you can dream of.

So now we get the spectacle as one by one every single group will be called on to renounce its members, strip their membership, deny them of awards, and take away old awards and honors. Is the Venice Free Clinic or GLAAD or the Kamala Harris campaign, for instance, going to be called on to blot out of the honorary fundraising chair title bestowed for some banquet? Stars chiseled off the sidewalk? Condo complexes in the middle of Nevada demanding their appearance fee back?


As one Ankler friend/industry vet wrote to me:

The thing is though, every single beloved A-list rock star of the 70’s had sex with girls who were younger than 16 all the time. They don’t even deny it. In the 80’s it happened with actors and rock stars. In the 90’s it lessened. However it also started to pick up with men and boys. I think you could get rid of 200 horrible sex predators and then what does Hollywood do? Never work with any of them again? Kick them all off these boards and out of guilds?

Where will this all go? Well it’s not ending anytime soon. The victims are now realizing they can speak out. Soon those who signed papers will realize that no one is going to sue you for breaking an NDA to speak up about abuse. There is no way in this climate a studio is going to go to court to make someone honor their agreement and shut the hell up about a harasser on their payroll.

 

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