The Weinstein Company will soon enter the textbooks on marketing, when they rebrand under the new name, The Weinstein (That's Bob, Not Harvey, Easy Mistake, We Look Similar) Company.
There aren't two sides to this.
Imagine being summoned to his room, in the fancy hotel, for your big break. The mogul with the cigar is about to hand you the dream. You're probably shaking your head in disbelief. Butterflies. The room door opens. Then you notice: the bathrobe is open too - wide open - and this show is in Vista Vision, Technicolor and 3-D. Roll up, roll up!
And this is just the opening shot.
As the Hollywood saying goes: when you're a star, they let you do it.
Well, until now. Finally, after decades, his come-uppance has arrived.
It's an all-star cast of complainants. Not to mention the volume. The names just keep going, like donors on a crowd-funding site. He was prodigious, he was consistent. And his people - his efficient, whip-smart team of people - kept sending women up to the room.
Actresses went up to that doorway, to fulfil their dreams. But instead of a genie behind the door, doling out wishes, there was a creepy ogre instead, all-powerful, all-wealthy. Indeed, above wealth. Above even fame - so far above fame, he was capable of bestowing it.
But there's just one catch.
The actress who thought (hoped?) she was at a business meeting, suddenly finds she's a contestant in an impromptu game show for one: 'Sex or Banishment.' Make your choice.
I remember in the 90s when Ashley Judd first showed up in movies. She was stunningly beautiful. Then, not that many years later, I remember wondering: Hey, whatever happened to Ashley Judd?
Turns out she said no to Harvey. In the hotel game show of 'Sex or Banishment', she decided against going to the next round. As did so many others, brave and defiant, a clickbait photo gallery of "Where Are They Now?"
The New Yorker site has police audio, taped by a brave actress who'd been molested by him previously, wearing a wire.
It's chilling. He works every angle in the space of a minute, trying to get the actress into his room - good cop, bad cop, multiple-personality cop, beggar, bully, confidant, henchman, ally, assassin, and back again - no doubt the negotiating tactics that made him a successful producer. The menace is stone cold.
But the audio doesn't seem to have been enough to start a prosecution.
When you're a star, they let you do it. More like, help you do it.
How many fixers were there? The people who delivered the actresses. Then the people to draft the settlements, haggle the victims down to below six figures, collect the signatures promising silence, agreeing nothing had happened. What a team. They really put the HR into harassment.
For a moment this week, he'd even enlisted Lisa Bloom (usually a lawyer for sex assault victims) to speak up for him. "He is an old dinosaur learning new ways," she said, gob-smackingly, making his assaults seem almost adorable, a sit-com dad listening to the kids' music. Turns out she had a deal with his company to turn a book of hers into a TV show. Ultimately, she quit being his 'advisor' but the point was made, and to her soul and her name, the damage done. That's how powerful this guy was - up to a point, he found Lisa Bloom's price - and that's how powerful power is.
When Hugh Hefner died, there was a divergence of opinion: a hero of free speech, or an objectifying villain? (His robe seemed less sinister.) Times do change. Once upon a time, sexual harassment wasn't even a phrase.
People have always joked about the casting couch. Acting is an industry where beauty is a relevant job qualification. Even the legit, above-board, job interview consists of being looked up and down, video'ed (in close-up, mid-shot, full-body,) being asked to turn right around so we can take a look, thank you, being asked if she'll do nudity, partial nudity, how comfortable she is in a swimsuit. Make love to the camera. And this is when the audition is professional.
(In most other industries, in 2017, this would not be an acceptable job interview.)
But, the presence of a camera, numerous people in the room, lines to read, and in the hallway, a queue of others who look just like you, make this OK. Not just OK: an opportunity. For a prize. At least now, to cross that bridge, there's one less troll to get past.