The Power of the Powerfully Wealthy

Rabbi Chaim Landau

The revelations of Howard Weinstein’s sexual misadventures within the orbit of Hollywood is shocking, sad and just downright disgusting. As has been the lack of responses of the liberal Hollywood community who would rather maintain a tight-lipped lock on his behavior.

Accused of multiple acts of sexual misconduct, assault, rape and indecent public exposure over a period of at least

20 years, all of this miscreant behavior came to light following a New York Times piece that claimed that Weinstein had settled with eight known victims against whom he had salaciously repelled with his actions.

Should any of us act surprised? First, there was the Bill Cosby tragedy in which the powerful American personality has been accused of indecent sexual behavior and rape by more than 60 women over a 40-year period of time. Arnold Schwarzenegger also stands accused by multiple women of having fondled them or assaulted them. And a whole line of powerful personalities from Fox News, starting with Roger Aisles, stand accused of deliberate and pronounced sexual misbehavior leading to their firing and release from that company.

So why the silence for such an eternally long period of time? Was everyone so blind, ignorant and unconscious while all this was going on or were they afraid? How do you accuse a powerful and publicly revered icon who has assaulted you without ending up as the victim of his power and powerful allies?

There are allies. These are the individuals who promote such excruciatingly painful trauma to others by their inactivity while having a strong sense of knowing what is really going on and doing nothing to stop it. They are all complicit by their failure to speak out.

Clearly the powerful and the powerfully wealthy believe they are stratospherically above any law or ethical behavior and, because of that, they have free rein to do exactly what they like to intimidate and frighten vulnerable women.

So now a pitifully few entertainers are slowly responding, such as Meryl Streep and George Clooney. But it’s much too little much too late. The culture of the Hollywood liberal community is no different from any other. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

It’s time for Hollywood to speak out loudly about the predators who stalk their industry and target women for their perverted behavior. And you know the best way they can do this? By the only means they know well: Make a blockbuster film about it!

Rabbi Chaim Landau is rabbi emeritus at Ner Tamid Congregation.

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