Hollywood accidentally kicked off the #MeToo movement when the industry’s ugliest open secret spilled out.
Now, liberal stars are keeping their mouths shut as similar allegations fall on their side of the ideological aisle.
Uber-producer Harvey Weinstein’s epic fall ushered in a new awareness of sexual abuse beyond Tinsel Town. The “Hateful Eight” producer provided the ultimate bogey man. Arrogant, powerful and able to shift Academy winds with a well-turned quote, his fall proved so precipitous even his attempt at leveraging his liberal bona fides in his defense failed.
It’s not for lack of trying, though.
Industry players could have sheepishly stood down, wondering how so many stayed silent as Weinstein stormed through backlots and bedrooms.
Instead, they rallied en masse to push #MeToo thinking into the culture at large. And, to be fair, did women a favor … for a while. Celebrities are unrivaled at bringing attention to an issue. Think Kim Kardashian West’s battle for prison reform.
Hollywood later segued from its own alleged monsters — Brett Ratner, Kevin Spacey and Louis C.K., among them — to political targets. Brett Kavanaugh’s trip to the Supreme Court hit a sizable delay as Democrats and celebrities alike protested his nomination.
A 30-plus year old allegation against President Donald Trump’s nominee caused stars to say he didn’t belong on the highest court of the land.
The Hollywood protests were loud and expansive. Can we ever forget far-left comedienne Amy Schumer raising her fist sky high moments before the police hauled her off during her Kavanaugh protest?
Several women later recanted their dubious sexual assault claims against Kavanaugh. Christine Blasey Ford’s accusation against the future Supreme Court Judge remained fuzzy then, and now.
Hollywood’s #MeToo crowd didn’t offer a collective apology, though.
The celebrity-fueled movement slowed in recent months. The industry is still willing to work with superstar Johnny Depp despite credible accusations by his former flame, Amber Heard, regarding spousal abuse.
Other stars under clouds of suspicion, including Morgan Freeman, Chris Hardwicke and Casey Affleck, are back at work in varying degrees.
You’d think the rise of several high-profile political targets in recent weeks might activate their #MeToo mojo. Wrong party affiliation, alas.
Earlier this year a pair of women accused Va. Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax of sexual assault.
Their stories weren’t of the smoke and mirrors variety practiced by Ford. The women recently recalled their attacks, through tears, to “CBS This Morning” co-host Gayle King.
Is Schumer back in jail following a fresh round of protests? Has Alyssa Milano promised to “march in the streets” if Fairfax remains in office a second longer?
No. In fact, Fairfax has yet to resign and shows no sign of doing so. Hollywood A-listers aren’t demanding any such thing. If they are, they’re keeping such thoughts far, far away from their muscular social media accounts.
And then came the latest round of Creepy Joe Biden stories. The former Vice President allegedly sniffed the hair of a fellow Democrat and planted a kiss on her head just before she went out to address a gathering. A second woman came out days later, sharing a similar unwanted touching tale.
They hardly came as a surprise. Gimlet-eyed news readers have seen this side of Biden before, yet another “open secret.”
Are Schumer, Milano and co. lacing their marching shoes on again? Hardly.
Milano shared a supportive Biden tweet complete with the two of them together.
“Joe Biden’s response that he never meant to make anyone uncomfortable and that he’ll listen and learn from anyone who says otherwise is exactly the leadership we need to build a culture where women are heard and are equal,” she said.
On “The View,” unofficial ringleader Whoopi Goldberg excused Biden’s actions, too.
“Listen, in the old days we would call Joe — some folks of a certain age would say he’s a little ‘overly familiar,'” said Goldberg. “But most politicians when they’re doing this with you, they are. Joe is a hands-on kind of guy. I’ve never heard anyone,” she began before correcting herself: “She [Biden accuser Lucy Flores] says she felt violated. I have to take her at her word.”
Yes, the woman who famously dismissed Roman Polanksi raping a 13-year-old as “rape-rape” has Biden’s back.
And then, there’s Rosanna Arquette — a founder of the #MeToo movement — who bristled at the mere thought of applying #MeToo standards to a faithful Democrat: “As one of the women who came out in the first place I find it absurd that people are using the ‘Me too’ movement to manipulate. I found Mr Biden’s response genuine we must make room for the men who right their wrongs. And learn from it This was not assault.”
As one of the women who came out in the first place I find it absurd that people are using the “Me too”movement to manipulate. I found Mr Biden’s response genuine we must make room for the men who right their wrongs. And learn from it This was not assault.
— Rosanna Arquette (@RoArquette) April 4, 2019
Even Hollywood liberal Stephen Colbert went easy on Biden. The “Late Show” host admitted his actions were wrong but later turned the accusation into a toothless comedy bit.
Speaking no truth to power is the Colbert way when there’s a “D” in front of a politician’s name.
Now, both Biden and Fairfax could be innocent. That rarely matters to Hollywood’s #MeToo Crowd. They wanted to throw every book in the Library of Congress at Kavanaugh despite Ford’s nebulous account.
Shouldn’t the same apply here, too? Or is it what cynics suspected all along. Hollywood’s #MeToo movement isn’t just about women. Power and progressive politics matter just as much.