Harvey Weinstein Hits Home at ISU

Rebecca Nelson

The producer that brought you The Lord of the Rings trilogies, Scandal, Spy Kids and Pulp Fiction, as well as several allegations of sexual harassment, assault and inappropriate comments, Harvey Weinstein is receiving criticism for more than just his work.

Over the past few weeks, multiple celebrities have come forward with their personal accounts involving Weinstein, most of them having to do with the sexual predator wearing nothing but a bathrobe.

Although these instances are happening thousands of miles away, Iowa State students need to be aware of what sexual assault can do to a person, how it can be stopped, and why we need to unite.

For a father of five children, two different wives, and a slew of disgusting encounters with women, Harvey Weinstein is nothing short of a waste of space.

Born in 1952, he has dedicated his life to producing amazing films as well as giving Hollywood therapists more patients than needed. In the past week, over two dozen professional women have come forward to the media with emotional stories of their experiences with this man. From Molly Ringwald, to Matt Damon, celebrities are setting an example of bravery, necessity and justice.

Gwyneth Paltrow, one of many victims who came forward, explained her experience with Weinstein. Paltrow illustrated her experience to People Magazine, stating that he invited her to his room for a meeting, and ended up begging her for a “massage”.

Only a kid and scared out of her mind, Paltrow told her boyfriend at the time, Brad Pitt who went directly to Weinstein, screaming. The incident ended with what Paltrow explained as, “feeling expected to keep the secret.”

This past week, Paltrow came forward in hopes that other women feel less alone. She has been quoted saying, “We’re at a point in time when women need to send a clear message that this is over. This way of treating women ends now.”

Age was never an issue with Harvey, in fact Kate Beckinsale opened up to People Magazine as well, describing her meeting with Harvey at 17 years old, thinking she would meet him in a hotel conference room. Instead, she was escorted to his room, when he came to the door wearing a bathrobe and then offered alcohol. Again, she was 17 years old.

In 1995 Florence Darel began receiving calls from Weinstein at her parents house, asking her to meet him at The Ritz. After confronting her agent, she was told that, “she can’t afford not to go.”

After she was pressured into going to the “meeting” she told her boyfriend as well as her agent the horror of what happened, but stayed quiet otherwise.

She has been quoted to People Magazine explaining why she stayed quiet, “What could I do? Could I go to the police and say, ‘This disgusting man made me an indecent proposal at his hotel room at The Ritz?’ They would have laughed at me. Even when you are raped it is difficult to prove and society in many cases, puts the burden of proof on women.”  

Harvey stated to The Times last Thursday afternoon that he “understands the way I’ve behaved with colleagues in the past has caused a lot of pain, and I sincerely apologize for it. Though I’m trying to do better, I know I have a long way to go”.

Later, an investigation by The New York Times found previously undisclosed allegations against Weinstein, going on for nearly three decades. Weinstein can apologize all he wants, but he will never be able to make up for the hurt he has caused to not only women, but to men as well.

According to the Iowa State Police Department, 1 in 6 women and 1 in 33 men will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime. They have also found that college aged women are four times more likely to be assaulted. That’s your daughter, your sister, your girlfriend or your roommate. It’s time we listen, understand, and learn from what is happening around us.

Iowa State offers a number of great student recourses, as well as a course of action to follow when someone has been assaulted. Please refer to the following recourses below.