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Weinstein's alleged sexual abuse is appalling -- both now and then.

Eugene Robinson on

Is there poetic justice in the fact that it was Allen's estranged son, journalist Ronan Farrow, who reported and wrote the New Yorker story revealing the most explosive allegations against Weinstein? Perhaps, but we digress.

Most of the reaction to Weinstein's pattern of horrible and allegedly unlawful behavior has been appropriate, if belated. The number of women who accuse him of misconduct -- including A-list stars such as Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow -- has leapt quickly from an initial handful into dozens. We should know by now, in these cases, that if there are several victims, there are probably many.

Did some women tolerate his disgusting advances because they knew he was one of the most powerful men in the movie business and had the power to make, resurrect or end a career? Probably, and they shouldn't have. The way Weinstein treated women was apparently an open secret in Hollywood.

Worse, however, is the fact that co-workers and corporate officers at Miramax and the Weinstein Co. apparently knew all about his proclivities. Not only did they fail to stop him, they enabled him to continue.

In some cases, Weinstein's assistants are accused of making his targets feel comfortable with the idea of meeting him in hotel rooms -- then abandoning them knowing what they would face. Some victims were paid substantial settlements, which people who worked with Weinstein, including board members, must have known about. Weinstein was effectively granted impunity because he brought in so much money and so many Oscars. That's another old story; complicity and silence weren't invented in the '60s and '70s, either.

And by the way, you don't have to be "the father of daughters" to speak out. I am the father of sons, and I'm angry and appalled.

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Eugene Robinson's email address is eugenerobinson@washpost.com.

(c) 2017, Washington Post Writers Group

 

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