Today’s is the first Ankler in over a month in which the lead item is not some sort of Harveygate news. And it still certainly could be. The fallout and the consequences here are not half over.
So where’s it going now? To date, we’ve been in the Open Secrets phase of this journey. Harvey, Brett Ratner, Louis CK, Kevin Spacey: all people about whom there were plenty of rumors. Although frankly “people about whom there were plenty of rumors” would describe half the men in Hollywood.
There are still a handful of those obvious, long-rumored about candidates to come, and sorting them out will take a while.
But then there are the higher rung of the predators. The non-public figures, or mostly non-public. People whose toppling could erase billions from a company’s valuation overnight. The fact of the matter is, we live in a closed system. Reporters can’t file requests for Hollywood poobah’s travel schedules or expense records. With so much at stake, there has been at least that much making sure that nothing bad happened to these people. Victims at this level have potentially been very carefully taken care of at this level, rather than brushed aside, and unless one or more of them shrugs that off and comes forward, you can’t break these stories just on rumors.
To date, the only true Exec/Producer Titan to fall has been Harvey, whose company was teetering on the edge of the abyss, and torn asunder by a fraternal blood feud, which may have allowed the reporters to get their hands on the books. Besides that, in the rest of Hollywood companies where there isn’t any fraternal blood feud tearing asunder, the papers haven’t leak out, if there be papers worth seeing.
No studio head, no agency head, no major, Poobah level, Seventh Roomer has been named. And maybe they never will.
Alongside this we have the continuing gaping abdication of leadership from the grandees. Five weeks in, we’re still waiting for Peep One about what this says and means about the industry from its supposed leadership. Systemic change is remains at the “Please notify HR if you have any concerns” level. Questions about the larger problems of the industry’s culture seem to have fallen back to chin-stroking territory.
The word that the female titans of the industry were meeting was heartening, but we’re still waiting for them to come forward.
Given this, will all 50, 100, 200 predators ultimately named really end up with a lifetime ban from entertainment?
Let’s take the Louis CK case as a thought experiment. Presumably he isn’t heading for prison like some others. And in his opening round, he avoided the pitfalls of the Weinstein, Spacey and Toback responses: he didn’t try to bully or bluster his way out of it. He didn’t call his accusers lying ——‘s. His apology may have been incomplete or disingenuous, as many have said, but it was an apology and an admission, which is better than not.
So say CK, disappears, goes into hiding, therapy, walkabout for two years. Comes back and opens himself up to questioning by the most aggressive questioners he can find. Does whatever can be done to express contrition to those he’s harmed. All totally hypothetical here but just suppose.
And then he books a national tour, of a show 90 percent non-comedy, confessional about the journey he’s been on. Given that of all the accused, CK who books his own shows, and sells his own material direct to the public is probably the least dependent on institutional support, who could stop him from touring? Would the houses that booked Charlie Sheen refuse to bring in CK, then one of 200 people named in all that fuss a few years back?
The problem with our moment here when its pure shaming and backlash that govern the day, is the we seem to be demanding a blanket punishment – total lifetime banishment to all accused – that in this modern global media age, there is no way of actually enforcing.
Again, some leadership would help.
Also in today’s edition!
- ON GOLDEN BOND!
- BURY MY HEART AT WOUNDED SONY!
- WARNERS LOOKS INTO THE ABYSS!
- REMEMBERING THE DARK UNIVERSE!
- AND A SPECIAL PROGRAMMING NOTE!
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