Louise Godbold was one of the dozens of women who came forward in 2017 to tell her story of being assaulted by convicted rapist and former movie mogul Harvey Weinstein.
In the nineties, she was a young producer interested in an internship at Weinstein’s production company, Miramax. When she went to tour his Tribeca office, Godbold says the man Meryl Streep once called “God” cornered her in a conference room. The events she described next were harrowing … and familiar.
“Out of nowhere he grabs my hand and puts it on his crotch,” she said, “which was incredibly shocking because I’d known this man for many years and had never had any inkling that he would behave in such a way.”
When Godbold resisted, Weinstein apologized and let her go. But then, in a scene that matches the experiences of so many of his other victims, he arranged a meeting in a hotel room where he took his clothes off and cajoled her for a massage.
At that moment, Godbold told The Wrap in 2018, her sense of self-preservation “kicked in,” and she fled. But, as the world now knows, many other young actresses and would-be filmmakers weren’t able to escape so easily.
Today, working as a trauma specialist, Godbold has some choice words for Time’s Up, the anti-harassment group some of Hollywood’s most famous women helped found ostensibly to hold abusers accountable.
In a scathing op-ed for The Wrap, she says the millions of women who believed Time’s Up would be a champion for survivors of sexual violence “have been disappointed.”
“Far from acknowledging the women who dared to tell the truth about powerful abusers, Time’s Up completely ignored our existence,” Godbold said. She believes that Time’s Up sacrificed its professed mission to support women’s safety in the workplace on the altar of general left-wing preoccupations like “equal pay,” “diversity,” and “broad equity initiatives.”
“Over the past four years,” Godbold said, “many in the survivor community became resigned to the fact that the focus of Time’s Up was on anything but the needs of survivors.” She went on:
So why do I feel so betrayed by the news stories reporting that the leadership of Time’s Up did not consider supporting survivors — indeed, that they actively worked against the interests of survivors, such as by assisting Andrew Cuomo in his response to sexual harassment allegations? … Am I the only one who at some level believed TIME’S UP existed to help survivors, despite its clear track record suggesting the contrary?
Godbold said that in the beginning, she felt “emboldened” by the celebrities who showed their support for Time’s Up through displays of solidarity like wearing black gowns to the 2018 Golden Globes:
I was on my feet cheering along with everyone else when Oprah Winfrey made her rousing speech that evening about looking forward to “the day when nobody ever has to say ‘Me too’ again.” “When that new day finally dawns, it will be because of a lot of magnificent women, many of whom are right here in this room tonight,” she said. Only we weren’t. The Weinstein survivors hadn’t been invited.
But now, Godbold says she and the other victims in the entertainment industry feel betrayed by Time’s Up and everyone who associated with it, saying they feel as if “the story has consistently moved forward without [them],” and:
Journalists write prize-winning books. TV shows and movies help themselves to the now-infamous details of our assaults. And wealthy, powerful women declare TIME’S UP on the entertainment industry … only to end up oscillating between campaigns to support caregivers and advocating for Scarlett Johansson in her multi-million dollar salary dispute with Disney.
This ricocheting between the interests of low-income workers and those of the entertainment world elite, plus what that reveals about a seeming lack of strategic direction at Time’s Up, has been dizzying.
Godbold finished by highlighting the organization’s indifference to politically inconvenient victims like disgraced former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s accuser, Lindsey Boylan, and Joe Biden’s accuser, Tara Reade:
The recent scandal and subsequent resignations at Time’s Up has revealed the central contradiction and, to survivors, the essential flaw in the organization: survivors are not and never have been the constituents of Time’s Up…
That is because, as we saw with Tara Reade and Lindsay Boylan, sometimes the individual needs of survivors will run contrary to the organization’s desire to maintain friendships with the powerful. Thus, certain survivors are sacrificed for “the greater good” …
We didn’t cry #MeToo because we wanted pay equity for female movie stars. We didn’t speak out about our abusers only to have women leaders cater to them in order to retain power. Yes, survivors want an end to sexual violence and for abusers to be held accountable. But more than that, we want our expertise to be integral to finding solutions and implementing change. Every time someone else takes on that role for us, however well-intentioned, survivors become sidelined and our interests ignored.
As The Daily Wire previously reported, even as Time’s Up has been imploding over revelations that its leaders helped Cuomo discredit Boylan and ordered staffers not to support her, the group has focused on preventing the famous women who propped it up from having to answer awkward questions.
On September 5, it sent out an email alerting Reese Witherspoon, Kerry Washington, Natalie Portman, Brie Larson, Amy Schumer, Julianne Moore, Alyssa Milano, and Jessica Chastain that it was dissolving the advisory board the actresses were all members of to spare them the need to formally resign.
The email said the move was intended to “shield” the stars from “unfair scrutiny.” It did not specify what kind of scrutiny or from whom, but having to answer potential questions from the press about Time’s Up’s (and perhaps their own) hypocrisy, seems most likely.