Why Did The Harvey Weinstein Secret Take So Long To Come Out?

Harvey Weinstein was an influential and powerful man with a forceful and competitive personality. He was described as an aggressive person who behaved dbadly with staff and that his sexual harassment was an open secret in the industry. He had become a powerful figure during the period when independent films came to the fore and his company Miramax had been an influential supporter of the industry, taking risks with a new approach to cinema. But he was also a bully and a tactician who sought to manipulate or intimidate people into doing what he wanted.

The combination of power, aggression, and influence was enough to create a powerful image of almost untouchability. But other men have recently been taken down who had appeared to be untouchables. And this had led to a much better understanding of what was able to be done against these people who had previously seemed too powerful to be stopped.

A culture of silence had been allowed to develop around Weinstein’s actions. This made it difficult for one individual to stand up to make an accusation and feel they had any chance of being protected from repercussions. Weinstein was able to lay claim to a wide spread of influence with a number of people of prominence who had worked with him and appeared to be his supporters.

But the listing of his crimes is horrific even if only part of it is true and he was able to actively find ways to silence those who looked to reveal his behavior. The executives within his company must have been aware of some of what was happening and yet he was only fired when the revelations became public and were so numerous and terrible they could not be ignored. This was a man who had been behaving appallingly for years.

There is clearly a culture of support within the industry that is misdirected. It could be said that it is men looking after their own but there is something intrinsically and fundamentally wrong with a group that will allow a member to behave so immorally over an extended period of time. In no way is it possible to say that his behaviour fitted within community boundaries and yet he was able to continue.

And it was not that women did not try to speak out about some of it. Instead, he used his influence to muffle their voices. The fear that many women have about talking about sexual harassment is that their situation will worsen and Weinstein appeared to have the influence to do that. But for now, his bullying and harassment have come to an end, although he will no doubt claim that he is being unfairly charged.

It appears that there are several levels to this problem. The first is that there is an industry that relies on power and influence to achieve outcomes, where relationships carry a lot of weight. The morality tied to this can be murky in any environment that operates this way. In addition, there is the difficulty for women of being able to stand and make accusations without themselves being subjected to further destructive scrutiny from those around a figure like Weinstein.

However, there is now a feeling that women will be actively supported in revealing such terrible behavior. It may lead to a range of claims which will raise some questions around what should be considered but it is time now for those men who have walked untouched to be afraid as many now are ready to speak out.

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