October 10, 2017

As told to Brent Lang, Senior Film & Media Editor:

Successful men do harass. They act in ways that are abusive and sometimes illegal. Too many of us are under the impression that the people who do this are losers, and that’s not the case. Liberal men, high-achieving men, educated men, men who claim to support women, can be harassers. Maybe that will help change people’s minds about what’s happening in their own community, their own workplace and their own campus. It may not be Harvey Weinstein doing these things, but it may be someone like Harvey Weinstein, who is prominent and progressive, who is abusing women.

There’s a myth that sexual harassment is something that happens just with Republicans instead of Democrats. People weren’t surprised that Roger Ailes harassed because Roger Ailes is conservative. When a conservative harasses or engages in misconduct, the thinking is that they’re being hypocritical. They’re the ones who tell us harassment doesn’t exist, or if it does, it’s not a big problem. When liberals harass, I think there’s a sense of betrayal, because they’re the ones who are saying we believe in women’s equality. There’s a different emotional reaction, but it’s still painful and it’s still difficult for women to come forward. It doesn’t matter who’s doing it.

When we put harassers in a political category, we’re doing that based on a failure to look at the reality of harassment. One of the paradoxes is that very liberal industries like entertainment, like tech, are still producing or reproducing the same types of behavior that have been going on in more traditional settings all along.

I do believe that people can change their behavior, but I think that after 30 years, you don’t get a chance to change and pretend it didn’t happen. Harvey Weinstein’s behavior continued beyond the ’60s and ’70s, so when he says, “I came of age in that era,” it is no excuse.

The complete article can be accessed here.