L. A. Confidential
The Spacey and Weinstein allegations are just the beginning of a larger, damning expose. In the coming months Hollywood of old is going to experience something akin to what the French called “The Terror”, a wild, long-overdue era of recriminations and free-for-all head-lopping.
In Hollywood more fingers will be pointed. Accusations will be uttered. Justice will be demanded and with it, vengeance delivered. Careers will end and I dare say actual lives may end, too. There will be blood, folks. Hollywood’s time of reckoning has come and none too soon.
If it sounds dramatic, it’s meant to. The Spacey and Weinstein allegations are merely the tip of the proverbial and only hint at the scale of the systemic widely-accepted predatory behaviour in tinsel town.
Child stars, now grown, have clearly stated that at a large, organised and powerful cartel of predators are operating in Hollywood in plain sight. Yet the law has done little or nothing. Now that Weinstein and Spacey allegations, among others at time of writing, are being brought to light, the long-standing accusations of organised molestation by Elijah Wood, and Corey Feldman, et al must soon be gather momentum and demand public attention.
Over the coming months it’s likely more revelations will be levelled in a rising and falling volleys of indictments. The virus will probably jump borders and infect co-dependent industries: perhaps TV, perhaps Silicon Valley. It will jump countries. Other major film players will be called out as accomplices. Petty grievances will be fuel for rumours. A one-off drunken grope or cocaine-fuelled sexual suggestion will be potential evidence for accusation. Mia culpa’s will come thick and fast. Humble assistants, runners and best boys will be hurled centre stage because of what happened to them years ago.
While the world may collectively gasp, it’s little wonder this sort of reprehensible behaviour was rampant in an industry where stock-in-trade is youthful sexuality and where power is, in terms of career advancement, absolute and the fiscal rewards for a successful career are astronomical. Power corrupts ultimately; and ultimately power corrupts. It is an awful to realise that abuse of power and trust is one of the darker angles of human nature. But there’s no escaping it. It happens in every culture when conditions are right.
While the world may collectively gasp, it’s little wonder this sort of reprehensible behaviour was rampant in an industry where stock-in-trade is youthful sexuality…
What makes this whole vile saga more disturbing is this vague sense of complicity by others in the film industry. This was not an exception, a bad apple or a disturbed man in need of help. This whole affair has the air of a conspiracy. It appears that many people — indeed the majority of the industry — knew but did nothing, despite having the power to do so. It begs the questions: what else do they know, still?
That a wealthy, elite society knew sexual predation was systemic and molestation was rampant yet did nothing is infuriating, but somewhat understandable given the industry.
Movies are built on the suspension of disbelief. Acting is, essentially, pretending to be something and someone you’re not. Misdirection and illusion are valued tools in the screen trade. Being able to fake an emotion, be it sadness, joy, or arousal, is seen as a benchmark skill for actors.
The acting culture is built around the belief that artifice in normal. Moral compasses exist, but they are easily pulled off true North.
Mark my words. This is just the beginning. Like the Catholic Church, we will soon see Hollywood exposed as a hotbed of predation, exploitation and harrassment. This house of cards will soon fall.
By Jose AS Reyes