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You flushed it all away Harvey Weinstein

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DAVID SHANKBONE PHOTO

Dear Harvey,

I’ll bet your parents, Max and Miriam, have been churning in their graves the past month, as whispers of your infidelity and sexual assaults over the years proliferated around the globe. They raised you in a New York City housing co-op in the 1950s and ‘60s and, like any Jewish parents, they surely had big dreams for their boys’ success. Still, even their wildest fantasies couldn’t have predicted your rise to power in the movie business.

How could Miriam have known back then that while she was getting her hair done Saturdays at the beauty parlour, the movies Max was taking his boys to see would have a lifelong impact – one so strong they would influence the big screens of the world?
Max spent his weekdays grinding diamonds on 47th Street and humming that inextricably Jewish melody If I were a Rich Man as he tried to eke out a living for his small family. He would surely have swelled with pride if he’d only known his two boys would listen so deeply to their dad’s advice about the powerful bond of family and the trust that can bind brothers together that they’d someday found and name Miramax Films, a hugely successful company, in honour of their parents, and that they’d later create the Weinstein Company and continue to fly with the winds of financial and vocational success.

They’d be proud to know, Harv, that you’ve given back to your community. You care about poverty in New York, so you’re on the board of the Robin Hood Foundation, and between you and your friends, you donated $2.3 million to the U.S. Democratic party over the years.

But it’s just as well they passed long before all these accusations of inappropriate activity began emerging in the media. They’d have surely been red-faced to hear you describe your poor choices and bad behaviour as a product of the era in which you came of age. “That was the culture then,” you said, by way of explanation, as if you learned from your father that men could and should use their power to demand sexual favours from the women around them. Did Max really teach you that, Harv? Were these the values of a Jewish marriage you took with you when you left home?

Oh, Harvey. We all have choices: to live by moral, ethical values in how we treat others, or to use our power to take advantage of those who need us, who want our influence.

You were right at the top of the heap in your career, Harv, and at home you’ve had five kids with two wives in the last 22 years. How is Remy, your oldest, dealing with the accusations about her dad? And surely four-year-old Dashiell is experiencing the fallout at his preschool. Imagine the humiliation your beautiful second wife, Georgina Chapman, must feel, in the days
immediately after she’s announced she’s leaving you. Were you thinking about them when you allegedly made passes at beautiful, young actresses? When you asked them to meet you in hotel rooms?

It’s all unravelling now, Harv. The empire you so carefully built over the last 40 years, the reputation you had for stellar work in the movie business. Right now, no one cares that you’re an honorary commander of the British Empire because of your contributions to the British film industry. They don’t give a hoot if you’re a great dad who takes his kids to movies on the weekends, like Max did for you and Bob, or if you say Kiddush before Shabbat meals with what’s left of your family. All they see now, Harv, is a perv. A man who couldn’t keep his zipper closed. A powerful guy who tried to take advantage of vulnerable women. That, Harv, is what it’s come to.