Film & TV

Oct 25, 2017

Rundle: class, gender and the truth about Weinstein’s protection racket

In the Weinstein scandal, the division of power and class is the real one.

Guy Rundle — Correspondent-at-large

Guy Rundle


With the Weinstein scandal/affair/gate/catastrophe still ricocheting through Hollywood and the world, attention has turned to those around him: men whose mea culpas for not speaking up are becoming more specific by the day. George Clooney and Matt Damon have both rushed to say that while they knew he was a jerk and a sexual hustler, they, well here’s Damon:

"I knew he was ... a womaniser … I wouldn't want to be married to the guy. But ... the criminal sexual predation is not something that I ever thought ... was going on. Absolutely not."

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10 thoughts on “Rundle: class, gender and the truth about Weinstein’s protection racket

  1. Linda Connolly

    Mate. I’m so old I remember Thatcher; I gave up on “gender solidarity against oppression” 40 odd years ago. BUT there is advantage in having more female bosses because, you know, they tend not to rape you. In the absence of a more successful class victory, that helps atm

  2. Hunt Ian

    Guy, it is worthwhile to reflect that gender divisions overlap with other social relations of exploitation and oppression but, why claim, quite wrongly, that our social world has inherited old social relations between husbands and wives that involved sexual exploitation and oppression of women. It is, after all, less than a hundred years since women got suffrage in the UK. These relations are falling apart in our modern world at a pleasing increasing rate, though they have not disappeared.
    I can remember the way my life began with shared assumptions about the way women were there for men and had no authority behind their views. Gradually, I was reconstructed by myself and others, helped along with a good dose of love, after I grew up in my late twenties (not everyone grows up at the point they become adults and some never manage it, with Trump a good, immensely worrying case).

    Yes, many women identify primarily with their class position, regardless of whether this also depends on a man, but this does not alter the fact that they have to fight through the remnants of the patriarchy to assert their part in there system by which society is governed.

    The recent rise of women to positions of power in the media world is to be welcomed as part of the ongoing breakdown of patriarchal relations but deplored to the extent that bolsters the world that Chris Mitchell saw as his task, filling the world with images of inevitable power struggles and dominance by a few.

    One day that world will start to fall apart in earnest too but this foes not stop my taking pleasure in seeing that women will increasingly become treated as equals and with respect, partly as a result of the outing of Weinstein.

    1. Hunt Ian

      A “not” should go before “inherited” in line three, while a “there” should read “the” and “foes” should read “does” .

  3. Will

    Harvey Weinstein could come back from this. He just has to come out as Donald Trump’s number one fan ever. America’s definitely weird enough to wear that sh*t now – it’s totally sussed that the women’s ‘rights’ movement is ultimately actually about privilege.

  4. AR

    I cannot understand why the bigger issue, abject obedience as the norm throughout society, is not being discussed.
    “We are all Weinsteins”?

  5. [email protected]

    Good lord. This is amazing cherry picking, and shows Guy Rundle either doesn’t know how to google or that he is deliberately distorting the picture. To take one example: Megan Colligan is indeed the President of Marketing and Distribution at Paramount. She is also the ONLY woman in a team of 19 executives, as a cursory look at the Wikipedia page demonstrates. In 21st Century Fox there are five women of 23 executives. (I couldn’t be bothered to google the rest). As a whole women now comprise 17% of all positions in Hollywood, from executive producers to writers, producers, directors etc. Of course we know that class plays into this picture – there is this little known thing called “intersectionality” that’s about how different things factor in to structural inequities. Unless you believe that 17% women means equal female power in Hollywood, it seems to me that gender does indeed play in this picture.

    1. Draco Houston

      At what percentage do the women that have executive positions stop dealing with someone who was apparently widely known as a serial rapist within Hollywood?

    2. Matthew Clayfield

      I assume Rundle is also happy with the fact that the publishing industry is full of women while the vast majority of books reviewed continue to be by (and reviewed by) men. I also note that he fails to mention the number of films actually written or directed by women.

  6. Cut Snake

    This has been going on forever – since movies began.

    Bad luck he had some bad ‘box’ office. So now he is under the bus.

    And so many handwringers finally speak up. Lol.

    Like the paedos in the UK tv industry. Bit late now eh.

    Harveys new venture –

  7. Humphrey Bower

    Guy, surely your analysis demonstrates precisely the opposite of your thesis: despite the elevation of women to positions of economic class-power as studio executives in Hollywood they continue to be oppressed by men when it comes to the system of gendered power-relations that defines sexism. By the same token, the elevation of people of colour, Jews or gays to positions of power in Hollywood in no way negates their continued oppression under racism or homophobia. All are equally ‘real’ forms of power, and each has its own specificity. Why is patriarchy a more ‘broad or simplistic notion’ than capitalism here? Surely Weinstein and others abused their status not only as employers, but also as men?

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