Hollywood's #MeToo credibility is crumbling before our eyes.
First, many in the entertainment industry turned a blind eye to movie mogul Harvey Weinstein's rampant alleged sexual harassment and misconduct toward women for years, if not decades. Now we learn they also hobnobbed with pedophile Jeffrey Epstein even after he was convicted for soliciting minors for prostitution and served 13 months in prison, thereby negating any plausible denial they were unaware of his sexual predation.
The stark reality is that after Epstein served his 2008 prison sentence — and became a registered sex offender — Hollywood continued to welcome him with open arms to exclusive VIP events, movie premieres and glitzy parties.
"Equally troubling are Epstein's long-cultivated relationships within Hollywood and New York media circles, where he moved with ease well after his high-profile 2008 conviction," reports the Hollywood Reporter.
In 2016, Epstein attended Warner Bros' "Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice" premiere in New York, socializing with Hollywood movie stars and industry heavyweights. Back in 2010, Hollywood movie directors, veteran TV journalists George Stephanopoulos and Katie Couric, and Chelsea Handler — to name a few — attended a private dinner party honoring Prince Andrew at Epstein's multimillion-dollar New York City manse, according to reports.
Quite ironic given that Handler is a vocal #MeToo proponent who walked in the Women's March on Washington. "Seventeen million women across the world have been sexually assaulted," she told The New York Times in a 2018 interview. "It's all over the place. So to ignore it is to live in a lane and be delusional about your own experience."
Huh? Clearly, Handler conveniently ignored sexual abuse against women and young girls when she attended this party. Was she delusional that he spent time in the clink for the very criminal acts she claims to stand against?
Then there's Couric, who is currently writing a memoir with details about her own #MeToo experiences throughout her storied career. Will she be including her attendance at the chic party? Or will that chapter not make the cut?
If any of these folks or other Hollywood types who claim to support the #MeToo movement were to truly care about stopping female sexual exploitation, why would they continue to socialize and lend legitimacy, both personally and professionally, to a creep like Epstein?
And a creep he is. Last Saturday, the convicted child predator was arrested, and on Monday, he was charged with child sex trafficking and sex trafficking conspiracy to traffic dozens of underage girls across state lines from 2002 to 2005.
It's also well known that Epstein flew scores of influential elites inside and outside of Hollywood on his private jet nicknamed the "Lolita Express." These excursions reportedly included taking underage girls to his lavish private estate in the U.S. Virgin Islands nicknamed "Orgy Island."
If you think the moniker "Orgy Island" says it all, the New York Post reports that locals dubbed it another name: "'Everybody called it "Pedophile Island,"' St. Thomas boat operator Kevin Goodrich said of Epstein's 75-acre Little St. James Island, about a mile southeast of St. Thomas. 'It's our dark corner.'"
But none of that stopped Hollywood from embracing Epstein during or after his criminal acts.
Even during the height of the #MeToo movement, with movie moguls like Weinstein finally being held to account, Epstein was still welcomed by Tinseltown. "Even in the post-#MeToo era, Epstein, 66, frequently attended industry events, like the Gotham Awards in November 2017," reports the Hollywood Reporter.
All of which lends credence to the term "Hollywood hypocrite."
Quite fitting, wouldn't you say?
Adriana Cohen is a syndicated columnist with the Boston Herald. Follow her on Twitter @AdrianaCohen16. To find out more about Adriana Cohen and read her past columns, please visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.
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