Ann Hornaday writes: No one is suggesting a simplistic cause-and-effect relationship between movies and misogynist acting-out. But it’s worth pointing out that content inevitably reflects the culture that creates it, from the corporate executive suite to the geekiest fanboy blogs.
The Weinstein revelations lay bare the screaming hypocrisy at the core of Hollywood’s storied liberalism, which loves to pay lip service to equal rights and feminism but has remained impressively impermeable when it comes to representation of women, who directed a paltry 4 percent of the top 100 films last year, and accounted for only 29 percent of mainstream-movie protagonists.
It’s the same hypocrisy that allows Weinstein, in a bizarre statement issued in the wake of the Times article, to announce he’s giving his “full attention” to the National Rifle Association, while neglecting to mention the millions he’s accrued from the trigger-happy bullet-ballets of Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez. Or insisting that he “so respects all women” — presumably including the ones he is accused of abusing over the course of 30 years, while his male colleagues watched and did nothing but greenlight another action thriller about a man avenging the rape of his girlfriend/wife/daughter, or teen sex comedy featuring a bevy of nubile young “starlets.”
Weinstein, who founded the indie studio Miramax and later the Weinstein Co., has admittedly earned critical and artistic respect with award-worthy literary adaptations and high-minded dramas (he has such well-mannered titles as “Good Will Hunting,” “The English Patient” and “The Imitation Game” to his credit). But he is also part of a Hollywood ecology in which studios are happy to pursue prestige, but earn their money in pulp that, more often than not, relegate women to roles as victims, femmes fatales or scantily clad eye candy. [Continue reading…]