Nick Step / Flickr Harvey Weinstein...
Nick Step / Flickr

The hottest potato in Hollywood right now is Democratic party donor and movie producer Harvey Weinstein (“Shakespeare In Love” “The English Patient,”) who pays women off to not pursue legal remedies after he has sexually assaulted them. The story broke recently in The New York Times and after a pregnant silence of a few days the other shoe has finally been dropped — and so has Harvey Weinstein. The Hill:

Weinstein’s association with the Democratic Party runs deep. He has long been one of the most prominent figures on the donor circuit that runs through Hollywood.

Many Democrats expressed disgust that Weinstein would open the party up to the same attacks they’ve levied against President Trump, whose “Access Hollywood” tape broke almost a year ago.

“The difference between Trump, Bill Cosby and Weinstein — none,” said Bob Mulholland, a Democratic National Committee member from California.

Prominent lawmakers are refunding the money they’ve received from Weinstein and giving it  to charities and organizations that aid women who are victims of sexual assault and domestic violence.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) will donate the $5,000 she got from Weinstein to a Boston nonprofit group called Casa Myrna, which aids victims of domestic violence. Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) will give $7,800 to the New Jersey Coalition Against Sexual Assault.

Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) is returning the most money — $19,600 given to both his campaign and a supporting super PAC — to the Minnesota Indian Women’s Resource Center. And Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) is giving $11,800 — none of which was received in the most recent cycle — to RAINN, the nation’s largest group assisting victims of sexual violence.

If the back story is new to you, producer Harvey Weinstein has had a reputation in the industry for many years as being a man who made overt sexual advances to actresses and other women. “appearing nearly or fully naked in front of them, requiring them to be present while he bathed or repeatedly asking for a massage or initiating one himself,” according to the the New York Times.

Simply, Weinstein just paid women off to not litigate and he’s been doing this for decades. The power dynamic of the situation has been expressed as “Women 0, Harvey Weinstein 10.”

Be that as it may, it’s open war between the Democrats and the Republicans:

“During three-decades worth of sexual harassment allegations, Harvey Weinstein lined the pockets of Democrats to the tune of three quarters of a million dollars,” said Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel. “If Democrats and the DNC truly stand up for women like they say they do, then returning this dirty money should be a no brainer.”

“The entire Republican Party, from the grass roots to the establishment, stayed with Donald Trump after they’d been made aware about what he said on the “Access Hollywood” tape,” said Jon Reinish, a Democratic consultant. “They all went on Bill O’Reilly and kissed Roger Ailes’ ring. I don’t want to hear from Republicans because they don’t have a leg to stand on here.”

The hydra of institutional sexism has once more reared its ugly head. Daily Beast has the best op ed piece.

“From the outside, it seemed golden—the Oscars, the success, the remarkable cultural impact. But behind the scenes, it was a mess, and this was the biggest mess of all…‘If a female executive was asked to go to a meeting solo, she and a colleague would generally double up’ so as not to be alone with Mr. Weinstein, Mr. [Mark] Gill [producer] recalled.”

The hydra of institutional sexism is nowhere so prevalent as in Hollywood. This is ugly and it’s going to get a whole lot uglier.

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