Tagged: Harvey Weinstein

Mindy Newell: What Goes Around…

DC Comics Editor Suspended After Forcible Reports Of Forcible Kissing, Groping

by Nicole Hensley, New York Daily News, Sunday, November 12, 2017

A high-ranking editor at DC Comics has been suspended after three women publicly accused him of forcible kissing and groping in allegations dating back more than a decade.

DC Entertainment on Saturday announced the company is investigating group editor Eddie Berganza after Buzzfeed reported on his alleged history of predatory behavior.

“There will be a prompt and yet careful review into the next steps as it relates to the allegations against him, and the concerns our talent, employees and fans have shared, DC said in a statement, the news site reported.

Former writer Liz Marsham said Berganza kissed her during a party and groped her at a company gathering at a bar in 2006.

Another DC Comics employee reported a similar encounter. Joan Hilty, who is openly gay, said Berganza tried grabbing her at the same bar during a separate incident, according to Buzzfeed.

At least five women confronted DC Comics’ HR with their objections after learning Berganza was being considered for an executive editor promotion. He was promoted anyway, the site said.

Berganza was demoted to group editor in 2012 after a similar allegation that he forcibly kissed a married freelance writer during the WonderCon convention.

Despite the demotion, Berganza went on to oversee projects related to Superman and Wonder Woman.

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I just posted this bit of news on my Facebook page.  My friend Neil Cohen replied:

“I know it was a different time a whole few years ago when this first broke, but how was nothing done then?”

And I replied: “Because this happened yesterday, Saturday, November 11, 2017…”

And my next post: “…and they can’t hide it anymore.”

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Ever since October 5, when the New York Times published the Harvey Weinstein bombshell (reported by Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey), the bombs have just kept on exploding.  Here’s a list, released by the Times yesterday, working backwards from Friday, November 10:

Andrew Kreisberg, Executive Producer of Supergirl, Arrow, and The Flash

Louis C. K., comedian and producer

Benjamin Genocchio, Executive director of the Armory Show art fair

David Guillod, Co-Chief Executive of Primary Wave Entertainment agency

Jeff Hoover, Kentucky Speaker of the House

Brett Ratner, Producer and director

Kirt Webster, Music publicist

Andy Dick, Actor

Michael Oreskes, Head of news at NPR and former New York Times editor

Hamilton Fish, President and Publisher of The New Republic

Kevin Spacey, Actor/Director

Ken Baker, E! News correspondent

Mark Halperin, NBC News and MSNBC contributor, author of “Game Change”

Rick Najera, Director of CBS’s Diversity Showcase

Knight Landesman, Publisher of ArtForum

Leon Wieseltier, former editor at The New Republic

Terry Richardson, Fashion photographer

John Besh, Chief Executive of the Besh Restaurant Group

Lockhart Steele, Editorial Director of Vox Media

Robert Scoble, Tech blogger and co-founder of the Transformation Group

Chris Savino, Creator and showrunner of “The Loud House”

I’ve only listed the names, but you can go here to see the allegations and fallout.

I’ve also heard Dustin Hoffman’s name bandied about while driving to work and listening to the radio, though that was the only time I heard it.

And speaking of work, well, sometimes the talk can get pretty risqué but lately any jibe or joke has been preceded by is this sexual harassment? or assurances that I am just joking, I’m not harassing you, am I? This is mostly a good thing, I suppose, as awareness is heightened that someone listening might be offended, but at the same time, I can’t help thinking that the “sensitivity-meter” can be working overtime. Meaning, any joke or acerbic comment or ironic observation is capable of offending somebody at any given hour or on any given day—are comedy clubs and HBO specials on the road to extinction?

And then there’s this:

Trump: I moved on her, actually. You know, she was down on Palm Beach. I moved on her, and I failed. I’ll admit it.

Unknown: Whoa.

Trump:  I did try and fuck her. She was married.

Unknown: That’s huge news.

Trump: No, no, Nancy. No, this was [unintelligible] –  and I moved on her very heavily. In fact, I took her out furniture shopping. She wanted to get some furniture. I said, “I’ll show you where they have some nice furniture.” I took her out furniture – I moved on her like a bitch. But I couldn’t get there. And she was married. Then all of a sudden I see her, she’s now got the big phony tits and everything. She’s totally changed her look.

Trump: Whoa! Whoa!

Bush: Yes! The Donald has scored. Whoa, my man!

Trump: Look at you, you are a pussy.

Trump: All right, you and I will walk out.

Trump: Maybe it’s a different one.

Bush: It better not be the publicist. No, it’s, it’s her, it’s –

Trump: Yeah, that’s her. With the gold. I better use some Tic Tacs just in case I start kissing her. You know, I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.

Bush: Whatever you want.

Trump: Grab ’em by the pussy. You can do anything.

Hey, Donald, remember this…

What goes around comes around.

Mueller’s got you by the balls…

And he’s squeezing.

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And on another topic…

Hey, Maddy (Maddy Ernst, ½ of the Tweeks). Regarding Stranger Things 2 and your review:

Yep, it totally rocked!
I gotta give Noah Schnapp major kudos here, especially as it seems to me that everyone else gets so much praise and attention from the media and fans. He had an incredibly difficult path as an actor this season, and the kid totally pulled it off!!!
Also, David Harbour and Millie Bobby Brown as Jim Hopper and Jane Ives/Eleven? Loved their pairing!!!!

Totally agree with you regarding Sean Astin.
SPOILER ALERT: The Mind-Flayer/Shadow Monster hovering over the Snow Ball at the middle school–okay, girlfriends, who is infected with the “virus?” Mike? Chief Hopper? Maybe too obvious, hmm? How about Dustin? (My vote.)

One more thing…
I stretched out the binge to two sittings, but even so, nine episodes went by way too quickly. And now it’s gonna be, what, another year until the third season?
That sucks, doesn’t it?


Martha Thomases: Super-Harassment?

Although I have worked at an event he attended, I’ve never been sexually harassed by Harvey Weinstein.

There are several possible reasons for this:

  • He was intimidated by my ferocious beauty and talent,
  • He knew he had no power over me since I didn’t work in the film business
  • He was too busy watching Nicole Kidman. because the event was for was her movie.
  • Or, most likely, I’m not his type and beneath his notice.

The Weinstein story has quickly morphed from the story of one man’s fall from power and into a more nuanced conversation about politics and the media. And by “nuanced,” I mean angry hurled accusations back and forth.

In a nutshell, the argument posits that Weinstein isn’t suffering as much for his crimes as Roger Ailes or Bill O’Reilly because he gave money to Hillary and Roger and Bill are conservatives.

Apparently, there was ample evidence to suggest that a lot of people knew about Weinstein’s disgusting behavior. The conspiracy theorists insist that word didn’t get out because his liberal friends were covering for him.

It’s not that simple. Really.

For one thing, there are a lot of assumptions in this perspective that don’t stand up to the light of day. One is that all of Hollywood (and journalism) are Democrats, and all Democrats are progressives. This is simply not true. There might be a lot of progressive actors, writers, and directors, but the money people — the ones who can get a movie or series produced and distributed — are like money people everywhere, and most likely to be at least fiscally conservative.

Another erroneous assumption is that to be a Democrat and/or a progressive, one toes the line on all progressive issues equally. Someone who supports environmental issues is also a feminist who wants to end economic inequality and have trans teachers in fully-funded public schools. Progressives, like conservatives, are more complicated than that.

A third erroneous assumption is that Weinstein got away with something for a long time. There were rumors, and there were reporters who investigated the rumors for years but couldn’t get anyone to speak on the record. Once they did (last Thursday), it took less than 100 hours for Harvey Weinstein to be fired from the company he co-founded, by a Board of Directors that included his own brother. That happened much more quickly than the dismissals of O’Reilly or Ailes.

Like almost every other business, Hollywood respects and honors success, not a virtue. And like any institution that involves humans, it is imperfect in its attempts to do the right thing.

So. What does this have to do with comics?

For one thing, we have similar stories about men in positions of power and the way they treat women who seek employment. In almost all cases, these rumors are just that — rumors. Our industry is small enough that it’s mathematically difficult to collect a large number of accusations against one person. And women are still new enough as freelancers that we don’t always talk to each other the way we should.

Speaking for myself, I’ve heard stories about men in comics who demand sexual favors for jobs, men who have physically abusive relationships with a partner, and men who are pedophiles. In all of these cases, my first reaction is shock and even disbelief. Understand that I don’t necessarily think the person stepping forward with such accusations is a liar, but the behavior is so far from my perception of the men in question. Sometimes I know that man’s children or other family members.

I’m only suffering cognitive dissonance. I don’t have to make a decision about hiring and firing.

Wouldn’t it be nice if I had a solution? I don’t, at least not one that is a quick fix. As long as we live in a climate that assumes that men are naturally the people in power and that women in business must learn how to work with men (instead of men and women learning how to work with each other), women will be at a disadvantage. As long as women are seen as sexual objects or decorations first and foremost, and as valued workers second (if at all), we will have a problem with sexual harassment in the workplace.

We need to speak out and to present ourselves as whole people. Men need to complain about the bad behavior of other men, and women need to call out other women (which we do, constantly, but that’s another rant) when we allow it to continue. We need to be professionals and set a higher standard than Hollywood.