Harvey Weinstein must be the first Hollywood mogul taken to task for his predatory behaviour of the past three decades. Powerful men get away with being predators, especially in Hollywood where every player wants to make it to stardom or get a sweet job in the film and television industry.

Donald Trump, of all people, says he's known Weinstein for many years and is not surprised the man's in trouble. He either slighted The Donald in the past, or his behaviour surpassed even Trump's standards.

I think everyone has heard of the casting couch. The film industry is hierarchical and Weinstein stood at the top, a literal colossus.

Hollywood is a strange place of which yours truly has had so few experiences that I can only say each was memorably weird and one rather pleasant. I declined a chance of meeting Weinstein last year. My reason was I just saw him as arrogant.


I met a famous actor on a Hollywood set once and found his stated political ideas so preposterously out of whack with the facts I was rendered speechless.

But I spent a week with another famous actor and found him okay. A pity he didn't like the film script I wrote based on his ideas. He was fun to be with.

The film world is a cruel place full of egomaniacs, money-grabbers, men and women of outlandish personalities and burning ambition to be famous. Most will do whatever it takes to get there. Directors are almost invariably thieves of other people's creative ideas, not least writers'. Actors never acknowledge the person who wrote their memorable movie or TV lines. It's a nasty place.

CBS network CEO Leslie Moonves, famous for his gut feel for hit TV series, says only one actor of all the people he made rich and famous remembered to acknowledge his debt - George Clooney. The rest never mentioned his name.

Your columnist's experience with two movies made of his books? Well, if I can't be nice I better not be nasty. Just to say, lack of acknowledgment applies to our own "Hollywood". And ruthlessness is standard.

The director of one top movie - whose name I am deliberately not googling - decreed the novel his movie was based on never be mentioned, not by anyone, from actors to film crew to the marketing people. He set out to erase the creator's name and succeeded.

The director of Citizen Kane, considered the best film ever made, obliterated all traces of the screenplay writer and put his name there instead. History remembers Orson Welles and Herman Mankiewicz is a mere footnote.

I once did a wannabe "writer" a favour by employing him for three weeks on helping develop a spec film script. His assistance was so minimal that bland would be a compliment. Yet he swore blind to my face that he was the creative mind behind the script. Despite it being based on one of my novels.

I once pursued a sort of side career in writing for films but have long since given up. Too damn tough always being at the bottom. In television drama, however, the writer/creator is the most important player for obvious reasons: continuity.

Creativity is needed for at least a season and usually several. And that's where I'm next headed - or at least trying to. Because it's very hard cracking it, believe me.

One day you get a call to say you're there, they're keen to do your series. Then inexplicable silence after all that gushing enthusiasm and multiple promises.

But I was warned so have dug in for the long haul. If I do make it I know one thing: no casting couch required. No screaming tantrums, abuse of power, swollen head or any other kind of swelling.

Bill Cosby, whose television character we all adored as the good doctor and dream dad family man, is either guilty of multiple drug rapes - or he's yet another African-American who got too big for his boots and Mister Man is gonna get him.

To get the thumbs-down from the emperor is the death sentence. There are countless other Harvey Weinsteins in every field of employment. It's part of the sad condition of males.