Packaging, marketing, and selling sex harassment as a 'product'
A few days ago, news came out that Hollywood-linked lawyer and Harvey Weinstein pal Lisa Bloom was out soliciting under-the-table cash payments to her sex harassment clients from news media outlets and left-wing political action committees. Apparently, someone was grossed out enough about the sales effort to leak it to the press. John Solomon and Alison Spann of The Hill reported:
A well-known women's rights lawyer sought to arrange compensation from donors and tabloid media outlets for women who made or considered making sexual misconduct allegations against Donald Trump during the final months of the 2016 presidential race, according to documents and interviews.
California lawyer Lisa Bloom's efforts included offering to sell alleged victims' stories to TV outlets in return for a commission for herself, arranging a donor to pay off one Trump accuser's mortgage and attempting to secure a six-figure payment for another woman who ultimately declined to come forward after being offered as much as $750,000, the clients told The Hill.
Bloom, you recall, was "advising" her old pal Harvey Weinstein for free on how to spin the bombshell revelations that came out last October about what a pig, pervert, and power-monger Weinstein was even as Hollywood and Democratic Party elites bent over backwards to court and succor him. It was a move so stupid and obtuse that she had to backtrack and call it a "colossal mistake," after which she shamelessly chirped, presumably to her law firm: "Let's talk about how I can do better."
Problematic as it is that her money-making effort is an ideologically motivated bid to smear and take down President Trump, it's actually problematic no matter who her target is.
What she is doing is another old Hollywood game, this one perfected by her pal Weinstein, which is to monetize every aspect of a "product," which, in Hollywood, is film.
In Hollywood, one does not merely make a film these days. One must package it, market it, and sell it, well beyond the parameters of mere film. It's not enough to make a Spider-Man movie. One must make deals for spinoffs – Spider-Man t-shirts, Spider-Man tableware, Spider-Man action figures, Spider-Man lunchboxes, Spider-Man screensavers, Spider-Man sandwich baggies, Spider-Man edition cars, Spider-Man popsicles...
Bloom's bid to shake money out of news organizations for victims to tell their "stories" (and take down Trump, no less) is the same kind of commercialization and commodification, not of some sort of Hollywood art, but of what should be merely a statement of truth. Getting someone's mortgage paid off and throwing in a college fund, as if one has just won a game show prize, isn't exactly something that belongs in the picture.
The interesting thing is that the allegation against Bloom has been made more than once. In the original report about how Bloom soiled herself with her sleazy willingness to defend Weinstein for free, actress Rose McGowan accused Bloom of offering her money to get on the "Harvey's Changed" bandwagon. Bloom denied it, but McGowan, who already had sizable credibility in the wake of her role in exposing Weinstein, back when it was dangerous, now sees her credibility grow.
Bloom's bid to monetize and industrialize the picture of a sex harassment victim telling her story and do it on the sly is a despicable commodification of women for personal gain that not only shows Bloom to be the mercenary she is, but is sure to discredit the #MeToo movement if they don't pitch her overboard alongside her buddy Weinstein.