Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Quote of the Day (Producer Peter Guber, on ‘Power and Sex’ in Movies)

“This business, movies, is all about two things—power and sex. And guess what, they're the same thing.”—Producer Peter Guber (Batman, Rain Man), quoted in Tina Brown, diary entry for June 6, 1989, in The Vanity Fair Diaries: 1983-1992 (2017)

For decades, Hollywood execs pushed Guber’s neat equation to its natural limit. While most of America came to see rape as less an act of sex than an assertion of power, Hollywood continued to operate under a different set of rules, as old as the proverbial “casting couch.”

We’re about to see if the guilty verdict this week against Harvey Weinstein (pictured when he was riding high) is going to alter matters—if it actually represents “the biggest seismic change that we have ever had” that Oscar winner Julianne Moore thought she had witnessed last October. 

Don’t bet the ranch on it; the forces of reaction are awfully powerful. But maybe, after all this time, something fundamental has changed.

Bully baby that he is, Weinstein complained about the injustice of his indictment, saying his “work had been forgotten” after he had done so much for women. These last several days, that ludicrous statement may have turned out to be true after all—but only because it required a monster as repulsive as Weinstein to bring Americans face to face with the consequences of what they had excused for far decades.     
(The photo accompanying this post was taken by David Shankbone of Harvey Weinstein attending the 2010 Time 100 Gala. Seven years later, the magazine would feature Weinstein on its cover, in far darker hues, with the tag line, “Producer. Predator. Pariah.”)                               

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