Two decent podcasts this week spoke on coinciding topics: Harvey Weinstein’s Enablers and Island Influencer Georgina Crebbin. Both addressed very confronting issues relating to rape and sexual abuse, with both stories relating to their impact on the art and cultural world.
In the case of Weinstein, he was a very prominent and powerful movie producer who was found guilty of “a criminal sexual act in the first degree and third-degree rape.” According to the BBC, Weinstein also faces other charges relating to events over a thirty year span.
In the case of Crebbin being interviewed by Sharon Sutton, Crebbin reports being the victim of rape. The discussion between Crebbin and Sutton discusses Crebbin’s show, AFTER, which Sutton says “is based on true stories about sexual assault, from interviewees across the Isle of Man and England, including [Crebbin’s] own experience that inspired her to write it.”
How did they get away with it for so long?
Both podcasts seek to shine light where there has been darkness. Harvey Weinstein’s Enablers discusses this very directly and pointedly:
The central question of Ken Auletta’s Hollywood Ending: Harvey Weinstein and the Culture of Silence, to my mind, is the one posed by the subject line above: How did he manage to get away with it for so long? It’s the question I hoped to answer, at least in part, during my interview with Auletta. Weinstein assaulted women for decades—literally, decades—and it just didn’t matter. He acted with complete impunity because he was immune from consequences.
One fact that jumped out at me: the first of his victims to go to police did so in 2015. For decades he had assaulted women, either forcing himself on them or demanding sexual favors for professional consideration. It was his modus operandi since working as a concert promoter in Buffalo with his brother in the 1970s. And it wasn’t until 2015 that Ambra Battilana Gutierrez would—after Weinstein attempted to fondle her breasts, run his hand up her skirt, and kiss her—file an actual complaint with the police.How did Harvey Weinstein Get Away With It for So Long?
One of the many awful aspects is the huge length of time that elapsed from the first victim to the last. The victims appear to have not reported it to police for any one of a multitude of reasons, but it sounds likely that a common fear of the victims of such abuse is that no one will believe them, and that they are alone. When such allegations became public, however, the dam burst, and there was a cascade of victims coming forth.
When the victims thought they were alone, when they thought they might be the only victim, when they thought that they were fighting solo against a powerful abuser, they kept silent. Weinstein knew this, and this is why he used non-disclosure agreements to keep his victims silent.
Isle of Man Government changed law to protect alleged sexual predators
This, I think, is particularly concerning given that the Isle of Man has recently introduced new laws to clamp down on free speech and protect the identity of alleged sexual predators. Part 140 of the Sexual Offences and Publications Act 2021 helps to protect the identity of alleged sexual predators by making it an offence to “identify the person… in any publication.”
If such a law had applied to the USA (obviously it can’t, since they have constitutionally-protect rights to freedom of speech) then it is possible that Weinstein might have never been brought to justice, and might still be attacking victims with impunity. This is likely because it would have been illegal to identify him once he was suspected of a criminal offence. This might have reduced the chance that other victims would come forward, since each victim would not have known that other victims reported Weinstein to the police.