Jodi Hilton for The Boston Globe/file 2007
We’ve heard a lot of people in recent days swear that they didn’t know Harvey Weinstein was a serial sexual harasser whose behavior, beyond boorish, was sometimes criminal. Screenwriter Scott Rosenberg, the Needham native whose first two movies, “Things to Do in Denver When You’re Dead” and “Beautiful Girls,” Weinstein produced, is not one of those people.
In an epic Facebook post Monday to some of his followers, Rosenberg insisted everybody who came into contact with Harvey Weinstein knew — maybe not about the rapes alleged by some women — but certainly about a “pattern of overly-aggressive behavior that was rather dreadful. We knew about the man’s hunger; his fervor; his appetite. There was nothing secret about this voracious rapacity; like a gluttonous ogre out of the Brothers Grimm. All couched in vague promises of potential movie roles.”
Rosenberg describes Weinstein’s behavior as “reprehensible,” but he also has had it with what he calls the “current flood of sanctimonious denial and condemnation that now crashes upon these shores of rectitude in gloppy tides of [expletive] righteousness.”
Rosenberg claims many of the denials are coming from people who did, in fact, know.
“Because I was there. And I saw you. And I talked about it with you,” writes Rosenberg. “You, the big producers; you, the big directors; you, the big agents; you, the big financiers. And you, the big rival studio chiefs; you, the big actors; you, the big actresses; you, the big models. You, the big journalists; you, the big screenwriters; you, the big rock stars; you, the big restaurateurs; you, the big politicians. I saw you. All of you. God help me, I was there with you.”
So why didn’t he say something? Do something? The options were few, Rosenberg writes.
“What would you have had us do? Who were we to tell? The authorities? What authorities? The press? Harvey owned the press. The Internet? There was no Internet or reasonable facsimile thereof. Should we have called the police? And said what? Should we have reached out to some fantasy Attorney General Of Movieland? That didn’t exist,” he writes. “Not to mention, most of the victims chose not to speak out. Aside from sharing the grimy details with a close girlfriend or confidante. And if they discussed it with their representatives? Agents and managers, who themselves feared The Wrath Of The Big Man? The agents and managers would tell them to keep it to themselves. Because who knew the repercussions? That old saw ‘You’ll Never Work In This Town Again’ came crawling back to putrid life like a re-animated cadaver in a late-night zombie flick.”
Rosenberg acknowledges that being a friend of Weinstein’s had benefits — and they were substantial.
“Hell, Harvey once took me to St. Barth’s for Christmas. For 12 days! I was a broke-ass kid from Boston who had never even HEARD of St. Barth’s before he booked my travel. He once got me tickets to the seven hottest Broadway shows in one week. So I could take a new girlfriend on a dazzling tour of theater. He got me seats on the 40-yard-line to the Super Bowl, when the Patriots were playing the Packers in New Orleans. Even got me a hotel room, which was impossible to get that weekend,” Rosenberg writes. “He gave and gave and gave and gave. He had a monarch’s volcanic generosity when it came to those within his circle. And a Mafia don’s fervent need for abject loyalty from his capos and soldiers.”
But ignoring Weinstein’s misdeeds had serious consequences, Rosenberg writes.
“We were willing to overlook what the Golden Goose was up to, in the murky shadows behind the barn . . . And for that, I am eternally sorry. To all of the women that had to suffer this . . . I am eternally sorry . . . Their courage only hangs a lantern on my shame. And I am eternally sorry to all those who suffered in silence all this time. And have chosen to remain silent today.
“So, yeah, I am sorry. Sorry and ashamed,” he writes. “Because, in the end, I was complicit.
I didn’t say [expletive]. I didn’t do [expletive]. Harvey was nothing but wonderful to me. So I reaped the rewards and I kept my mouth shut. And for that, once again, I am sorry. But you should be sorry, too.”
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