- The Washington Times - Friday, October 13, 2017

A group of Hollywood power players convened for a roundtable interview this week to discuss producer Harvey Weinstein, and the consensus was clear: “There is kind of like a wink and an acceptance of that sort of behavior.”

An exposé published last week by The New York Times detailing decades of sexual harassment charges against the disgraced mogul, but Hollywood insiders said the problem is endemic to a “culture of paying off people.”

“I worked with him once a decade ago and I was like, ‘this is a bad dude. I’m never going to work with him ever again,’” actor Seth Rogan told The Hollywood Reporter’s Matthew Belloni in an interview published Friday. “Everyone is just like, ‘yeah,’ but they still do. I think someone like him, everyone knows. I remember one of the first stories you heard about him involved inappropriate sexual misconduct, you know? … I know that people would say to me when I would refuse to work with him, ‘he’s old school’ and stuff like that. There is kind of like a wink and an acceptance of that sort of behavior.”

Judd Apatow shared similar sentiments.

“There’s a culture of paying off people,” the producer and director said. “If you’re sexually inappropriate with somebody and they think, ‘Oh, if I speak up am I suddenly a pain in the ass to everyone else in show business and I’ll never work again?’ And then suddenly Harvey is like, ‘here’s 150 grand and I won’t mention it to anybody. They set up a power dynamic that is very difficult for people to figure out what to do about [it]. That’s why it lasts for decades, because it’s a perfect system. And on the side you give money to charity and you kind of create — it’s like a priest who seems like a great part of the community so nobody doubts him.”

Weinstein Company’s board terminated the producer Sunday, while Hachette Book Group ended its Weinstein Books imprint Thursday.

“No, I don’t think that [Mr. Weinstein‘s] an outlier,” added Amy Pascal of Sony Pictures. “And I think that’s probably why a lot of people haven’t spoken up.”

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