Harvey Weinstein affair: Why journalism matters

Maybe something will actually be done about sexual misconduct and impropriety in business now, not just in the acting profession, but all professions and industries.

That’s one of my thoughts — and hopes — as I get my head around the alleged sexual impropriety of Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein.

Another thought: if you had any doubts about the importance of the print media, try googling the producer’s name. Scan the headlines. See how newspapers and other media are reporting this former “open secret” and analyzing it and the whole casting couch culture. And, no doubt, will be exposing others alleged to have committed similar acts in Hollywood. You can bet there are some, if not many, producers, directors and actors scrambling for cover now.

This subject is not going away for a long time. Other professions will come under the microscope, and a lot of guilty high-powered men will be rooted out. Because the sad truth is, a lot of men have used the promise of career advancement to persuade women to have sex with them. Not all of these men are as crude as Weinstein is alleged to have been. I’m betting most of them are much smoother operators, but guilty of impropriety nonetheless.

I am not so naive, of course, to think the problem will be eradicated. I know it won’t. The media can’t possibly peer into every nook and cranny of the business world. Some nightclub workers, for example, will continue to have bosses who demand sex in return for employment. And many women will not feel they are in a position to turn them down; they have children to feed, bills to pay.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that this sort of thing has happened in the world of journalism, too. Yes, men in positions of authority have used the career advancement carrot to get women into bed.

As I said in my lede here, it happens in every field. And it has been happening for decades in the Western world.

But many are talking about it openly today, thanks to the brave women speaking out.

And thanks to the media and our investigative journalists. They’re shining right now. This is what they do best.

And it’s why society still needs newspapers.

Our industry may be down, but it’s far from out. It’s transitioning, but at its core the mission remains the same.

A good read: Check out a piece in the Globe and Mail by actress/writer/social activist Mia Kirshner with the headline I was not protected from Harvey Weinstein. It’s time for institutional change.

— Jillian

Photo: Pressroom of the New York Times. (Wikimedia Commons)

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