Will the Harvey Weinsteins of the world's work survive #MeToo?

Eighty-four-year-old actress Judi Dench asks a pertinent question: are we just going to ignore all the good artistic work by Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey in light of #MeToo?

I personally didn't think much of either, but I'm not an industry-watcher or much of a movie buff.  If these guys really were artistic geniuses, as Michelangelo or Leonardo da Vinci, their work won't die, but will live on after them.

But it's doubtful that either is in that league.  Movie-making is much like storytelling.  If the story reflects timeless truths in interesting ways about the human condition, it will enter the canon and endure pretty much forever.  I doubt if anything either of these guys has done in movies reaches that level, but again, I may not be the best judge or even a good judge.

Politics has always tried to kill off art and artists it doesn't like.  Sleaze or anything related to it in the public mind always finds an audience but is no basis for greatness.  It's possible that, Oscar Wilde–like, the work of Spacey and Weinstein will enjoy a rebirth in a less political age sometime in the future.  Wilde, of course, had real genius, and it has yet to be determined if either Spacey or Weinstein has that quality.

Can a person enjoy a performance by someone he despises?  Conservatives — some of us, anyway — have done it for years.  It's implied in the biblical injunction to hate the sin but love the sinner.  You know: detest the politics but enjoy the talent.  Springsteen's politics sucks, but "I'm on Fire" is no less compelling for all that.

I suspect that all this twisting and turning is what drives Dench's question.  She's right to ask it.  In the end, the market will decide.  Some brave or foolhardy soul will try to make money off old Spacey flicks or dusty Weinstein tales.  It will work to an extent because so many of today's starlets will still be around, people who got their break on Harvey's casting couch or featuring in a Spacey blockbuster.

Fear not, Judi.  Lechery and lechers haven't gone away.  They're just in the shadows for now.

Eighty-four-year-old actress Judi Dench asks a pertinent question: are we just going to ignore all the good artistic work by Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey in light of #MeToo?

I personally didn't think much of either, but I'm not an industry-watcher or much of a movie buff.  If these guys really were artistic geniuses, as Michelangelo or Leonardo da Vinci, their work won't die, but will live on after them.

But it's doubtful that either is in that league.  Movie-making is much like storytelling.  If the story reflects timeless truths in interesting ways about the human condition, it will enter the canon and endure pretty much forever.  I doubt if anything either of these guys has done in movies reaches that level, but again, I may not be the best judge or even a good judge.

Politics has always tried to kill off art and artists it doesn't like.  Sleaze or anything related to it in the public mind always finds an audience but is no basis for greatness.  It's possible that, Oscar Wilde–like, the work of Spacey and Weinstein will enjoy a rebirth in a less political age sometime in the future.  Wilde, of course, had real genius, and it has yet to be determined if either Spacey or Weinstein has that quality.

Can a person enjoy a performance by someone he despises?  Conservatives — some of us, anyway — have done it for years.  It's implied in the biblical injunction to hate the sin but love the sinner.  You know: detest the politics but enjoy the talent.  Springsteen's politics sucks, but "I'm on Fire" is no less compelling for all that.

I suspect that all this twisting and turning is what drives Dench's question.  She's right to ask it.  In the end, the market will decide.  Some brave or foolhardy soul will try to make money off old Spacey flicks or dusty Weinstein tales.  It will work to an extent because so many of today's starlets will still be around, people who got their break on Harvey's casting couch or featuring in a Spacey blockbuster.

Fear not, Judi.  Lechery and lechers haven't gone away.  They're just in the shadows for now.