How Hollywood Feminists Enabled a Predator

October 12, 2017

by Lisa Hudson


Let me be completely clear: if Harvey Weinstein is guilty of the sexual harassment, assault, and rape claims currently making headlines, he is a pig, a predator, and a criminal. His dirty little secrets should — if everything plays out the way it appears to be playing out — guarantee him some time in an orange jumpsuit. Also, this piece is in no way an attempt to blame the victims who were subjected to Weinstein’s licentious, destructive behavior.

But (unfortunately, there’s a “but”) Weinstein’s aren’t the only dirty little secrets percolating to the surface as this melodrama unfolds. There’s also the obvious secret kept by the women now coming forward — Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie, Rosanna Arquette, and others, who chose to remain silent. Not just silent for a few weeks or a few months, or even a few years; silent for decades. Silent even after the then-vulnerable, aspiring actresses became some of Hollywood’s most well-known and powerful women.

Again, the following question in no way excuses Weinstein’s behavior. But, why did those secrets remain buried for so long?

Paltrow was 22 years old when her encounter with Weinstein is alleged to have occurred. Since that time, she has won an Academy Award, a Golden Globe, and many other entertainment awards; served as spokesperson for luxury brands; authored several books; and taken charge of a lifestyle company. In 2014, Paltrow appeared on ForbesCelebrity 100, as the 89th highest-paid celebrity in the world.

Jolie’s alleged encounter occurred in 1998, when she was 23 years old. Over the course of her career she, too, has earned an Academy Award and multiple Golden Globes, produced and directed multiple projects, and garnered $33 million for her most recent film. Jolie is considered one of the world’s most powerful women, and in 2001 she was named a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador for her humanitarian work with refugees.

Arquette, whose career successes have not been as abundant as Jolie’s or Paltrow’s, stated her alleged encounter with Weinstein occurred in the early 1990s. The time frame coincides with then 35-year-old Arquette’s role in Pulp Fiction, released by Weinstein’s production company, Miramax, in 1994. She has also produced and directed several projects, one in particular dealing with the pressures women face in the entertainment industry.

The incidents revealed by Paltrow, Jolie, and Arquette took place more than two decades ago. In that period of time, they have collectively amassed vast financial resources, name recognition, and no shortage of success in Hollywood. None of them were beholden to Harvey Weinstein. So, why the deafening silence? Paltrow said in one interview, “I was expected to keep the secret.” One has to ask, “For how long?”

Equally confounding is that these women, and others who continue to come forward, are actively or vocally supportive of the movement to empower women and girls and champion women’s rights — often quite vitriolically. Arquette made an appearance at the Women’s March on Los Angeles in January, empowered in the obligatory pink knit cap — but clearly not empowered enough to speak up about Weinstein.

Paltrow advocates for empowered women almost exclusively through her lifestyle company. In 2015, Paltrow spoke at Variety Magazine’s Power of Women luncheon during which she eloquently related how previous generations of women had to express their power “…in unthreatening ways that were not disruptive,” and then went on to say, “Now the power of women rings quite differently… The fear of how we are perceived is waning and things are being brought into the light.”

In the same speech, Paltrow referenced an interview Ashley Judd had given in Variety Magazine, in which Judd, who has added her name to the list of actresses making allegations against Weinstein, spoke openly about an incident in which a powerful Hollywood executive made untoward advances in a hotel room in the late 1990s. Even two years ago, Judd declined to identify the man about which she was speaking, but it’s now clear it was Weinstein. Judd remained tight-lipped and protected the accused, and yet at the Women’s March on Washington, she disgorged a profanity-laced diatribe after introducing herself, “My name is Ashley Judd, and I am a feminist.” Just not the kind of feminist who would identify a serial sexual predator after nearly two decades of silence.

What Paltrow, Arquette, Jolie, Judd, and others endured at the hands of Weinstein was unacceptable and repugnant. But taking a vow of silence was not a solution to a systemic problem within the industry. As years passed and their power and influence grew, silence was also unacceptable. Coming forward with the truth was something they owed to themselves, to the women who came after them — some of whom are alleged to have succumbed to Weinstein’s advances by force — and to every woman they claim to empower.

Unfortunately, the kept secrets are indicative of the hypocrisy of the Left and the degree to which the liberal community will compromise a cause for their own self-interest, turning the cause into little more than talking points or a publicity stunt — wearing a “Nasty” t-shirt, ranting on stage about inequality and injustice, and then slapping a few hashtags on for good measure. It’s not so much that they care about empowerment as it is fulfilling the role Hollywood liberals have cast themselves as humane and benevolent. It gives them something about which they can feel righteously indignant while racking up name recognition at the same time.

Meanwhile, another young, aspiring actress has just been lured to a hotel room by a rich and powerful sexual predator to talk about a potential project. We all know how that story ends.

Photo credit: Thomas Hawk via Flickr


Lisa Hudson is a founding member of Arizonans Against Common Core and an advocate of classical Christian education and the protection of student privacy. She graduated from Michigan State University School of Law in 1996 and is an active member of the State Bar of Michigan.

Archive: Lisa Hudson

13 comments on “How Hollywood Feminists Enabled a Predator”

  • Jui says:

    Hudson says, “Bill Clinton performed fairly deviant sexual acts on a 22 year old intern in the Oval Office.” Since she loves to engage in tit-for-tat, it is interesting to note she doesn’t mention the fact that there are reported to be tapes with Trump enjoying Russian prostitutes relieving themselves on him. Deviant indeed!

    But in both cases, the actions by Clinton and Trump may be distasteful, but they also were consensual. Hudson doesn’t seem to realize there is a difference between sexual consent and rape. That says a lot about her. It also gives her no moral authority to point fingers at anyone, let alone feminists.

  • Sscs918 says:

    Seems like you are blaming the victims. You survive a trama and want to move forward. I don’t blame them for not wanting to reopen an old wound. Why not hold the people around him who, by all accounts, apparently were all aware of his behavior?

  • Shiela Hanlon says:

    I think Paltrow answered the question, “Why did those dirty little secrets remain buried so long,” when she said, “I was expected to keep the secret.” I would add that she apparently didn’t mind keeping the secret, otherwise (as you say) she wouldn’t have kept it so long (surely there’s a statute of limitation on this type of thing). Bottom line: Weinstein is despicable… but so are Jolie, Paltrow, and Arquette.

    • Jui says:

      Paltrow said,“I was a kid, I was signed up, I was petrified.” Arquette said,“I had a bad experience with Harvey Weinstein in my youth, and as a result, chose never to work with him again and warn others when they did.”

      That’s a different picture than the one you use to malign young women who were sexually harassed or abused. I am not a big fan of either woman, but no one should have endured what they suffered.
      Hanlon’s indifference to this heinous experience is what is despicable.

    • Jk105 says:

      Paltrow and the other actresses were victims of sexual harassment. What is despicable is saying they are just as bad as the man who abusef them.

    • kern says:

      Hanlon makes an interesting point: Bottom line: Weinstein is despicable… but so are Jolie, Paltrow, and Arquette.

      Then according to her logic, Sexual abuser Trump is despicable… but so are his enablers, the voters who put a public molester into office. Is she one of those voters?

  • jk105 says:

    Old Boy and Old Girl is a British term of affection. Its official definition is a man or woman who is a member of a long-standing and usually influential clique especially in a professional, business, or social sphere.

    I won’t use it with you since you are easily offended and politically correct thin-skinned. Instead I will continue to call you a hypocrite.

  • jk105 says:

    Why did it take two decades to air this dirty laundry? Ask Anita Hill what happened to her when she aired Clarence Thomas’s dirty laundry. The Right Wing maligned her. The Right Wing has created an environment in which women will get demonized if they complain about sexual harassment. There is way more blame on this issue than cherry picking it today and blaming it on the Left or feminists. And yes, this is about Donald Trump too. You dodged my point. Winstein has been condemned by the Left and has lost his job. The right wing voted for (grab them by the private parts) Trump and is fine with Thomas sitting on the Court.

    Offended? Look in the mirror if you want hypocrisy.

    • Lisa Hudson says:

      Again, this isn’t tit-for-tat. But if you really want to go there, Bill Clinton performed fairly deviant sexual acts on a 22 year old intern in the Oval Office. The Left elected him….twice. And while we’re at it, Gennifer Flowers, Paula Jones, Juanita Broaddrick, Kathleen Willey. But this isn’t about Bill Clinton and his conquests, or Trump, or anyone else you want to throw into the mix. This is a question about how women who make a showy display of feminism let decades elapse before coming forward. What you don’t seem to understand is that women who say they are #ForAllWomen need to act like it all the time, not just when it’s convenient for them.

    • Jk105 says:

      Deflection. You are good at that. I have already answered your question. Women did not report Weinstein’s abuse because they saw how the right wing power structure maligned Anita Hill. They continue today seeing the right wing supporting her sexual tormenter Clarence Thomas in the Supreme Court. Moreover, we live in a society that voted in grab them by the private parts Donald Trump. Perhaps they did not report Weinstein because they rightfully believed a country that voted for a sexual predator would not take their plight seriously. So instead of denigrating feminists, condemn the powerful institutions that protect these criminals. You dodge this point. The left quickly condemned Weinstein and he lost his job. You, on the other hand, seem content with Thomas and Trump still occupying their offices. Hypocrite.

  • jk105 says:

    Hypocrisy on the Left?

    Weinstein has been immediately condemned by the Left and has been fired from the studio. Meanwhile the Right willfully voted for and still supports Trump. Meanwhile the Right trashed Anita Hill and still supports Clarence Thomas. Lisa Old Girl wants to see hypocrisy, I suggest she look in a mirror.

    • Lisa Hudson says:

      This is not a tit-for-tat. This is not about Donald Trump. This is not about blaming victims or excusing the accused. Perhaps you should re-read the article and then answer this question – because I’m still befuddled — why did it take more than two decades to air this dirty laundry? You can’t scream fire in a crowded theater and then fail to direct theater-goers to the emergency exit.

      Also, I am neither “old” nor a “girl.” That’s ageism, sexism, and I’m offended.

      Be kind. This isn’t the forum for personal attacks.

    • jk105 says:

      Why did it take two decades to air this dirty laundry? Ask Anita Hill what happened to her when she aired Clarence Thomas’s dirty laundry. The Right Wing maligned her. The Right Wing has created an environment in which women will get demonized if they complain about sexual harassment. There is way more blame on this issue than cherry picking it today and blaming it on the Left or feminists. And yes, this is about Donald Trump too. You dodged my point. Winstein has been condemned by the Left and has lost his job. The right wing voted for (grab them by the private parts) Trump and is fine with Thomas sitting on the Court.

      Offended? Look in the mirror if you want hypocrisy.

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