Bigwig Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein has responded to a major New York Times report alleging he has spent more than three decades in the movie business sexually harassing basically any woman with a pulse.
Unsurprisingly, Weinstein's response is an unrepentant mishmash of buck-passing, excuse-making, sorry-you're-offendeds and look-over-there distractions. In short, it's the exact sort of cowardly trash you'd expect from someone who has reportedly spent most of his adult life preying on women.
"I came of age in the 60's and 70's, when all the rules about behavior and workplaces were different. That was the culture then. I have since learned it's not an excuse, in the office – or out of it. To anyone," the major league Democratic donor's response begins.
Okay, let's pause here. We assure Mr. Weinstein that things for which he is supposedly apologizing were definitely frowned upon 40-plus years ago. Also, is he really going to suggest that it has taken him 48 years to realize we're no longer living the Summer of Love? Come on, man.
"I realized some time ago that I needed to be a better person and my interactions with the people I work with have changed. I appreciate the way I've behaved with colleagues in the past has caused a lot of pain, and I sincerely apologize for it. Though I'm trying to do better, I know I have a long way to go. That is my commitment," he continued.
Well, that's an interesting admission considering his response earlier this week to learning of the Times' investigative report was to tell the Hollywood Reporter: "The story sounds so good, I want to buy the movie rights."
The great Weinstein non-apology continues:
"I so respect all women and regret what happened," his statement reads.
"Jay Z wrote in 4:44 ‘I'm not the man I thought I was and I better be that man for my children.' The same is true for me. I want a second chance in the community but I know I've got work to do to earn it. I have goals that are now priorities. Trust me, this isn't an overnight process," he added.
Oh, that's interesting. See, Weinstein suggested earlier that he's a bit of a dinosaur who realized only recently that the Mad Men days of treating women as playthings are long over. But here he is quoting Jay Z lyrics. See, Weinstein is hip, but he's not that hip, apparently.
The statement gets worse (if you can imagine that). The response goes from excuse-making to outright deflection [emphasis added]:
I've been trying to do this for 10 years and this is a wake-up call. I cannot be more remorseful about the people I hurt and I plan to do right by all of them. I am going to need a place to channel that anger so I've decided that I'm going to give the NRA my full attention. I hope Wayne LaPierre will enjoy his retirement party. I'm going to do it at the same place I had my Bar Mitzvah. I'm making a movie about our President, perhaps we can make it a joint retirement party.
Nothing says "I'm sorry for being an alleged sexual predator" quite like telling the people to whom you are ostensibly apologizing that we all need to remember who is the real enemy.
The so-called apology ends thusly: "One year ago, I began organizing a $5 million foundation to give scholarships to women directors at USC. While this might seem coincidental, it has been in the works for a year. It will be named after my mom and I won't disappoint her."
We're sure his mother would be quite proud to know that her son's Sexual Harassment Mea Culpa Foundation will bear her name. Nothing Freudian there.
Weinstein is clearly not sorry. There's no real remorse here; it's only deflection and excuses. This is the language of a man who will act out again as soon as no one is paying attention. Keep an eye on that one.