12 Oct 2017

Austria reacts to the Weinstein debacle

The widespread outrage in Austrian media echoes another wave of anger towards the discourse around sexual harassment.

Julia Sahlender
Julia Sahlender Der Standard, Austria
Source: Der Standard
Austria reacts to the Weinstein debacle - NewsMavens

Why this story matters:

Accusations and revelations regarding producer Harvey Weinstein have been dominating the headlines for the past few days. A development that seems to have been long overdue.

The widespread outrage in Austrian media echoes another wave of anger towards the discourse around sexual harassment. Earlier this year, an Austrian tabloid criticized Kim Kardashian for still wearing revealing clothing even after her house had been broken into, implying that she was exposing herself to further harm because of her behavior. The article was decried by all major Austrian media, but the incident goes a long way in showing that victim-blaming is universal and pervasive -- both in Austria and in the global discourse.

According to the accounts of multiple actresses and women who worked with Weinstein he's been abusing his position and power for decades -- and half of Hollywood seems to have known about it. The situation became public knowledge after The New York Times wrote about it. After the story broke it was immediately picked up by media around the world and since then, more women have come forward.

Weinstein has been fired from his company and ousted from the Academy of Motion Pictures, but this does not address the underlying 'culture' of harassment and abuse of power.Especially in a country with a President which likes to "grab 'em by the pussy!"

In a rather surprising move, actor and former American Football player Terry Crews took to Twitter amidst the revelations to tell about his own experiences with harassment in Hollywood. In a 14 part story, he recounted being groped by a "high-level Hollywood executive".

The notion that power or money can buy pleasure beyond limit and regardless of who it hurts in the process, does not limit itself to targeting women.

Details from the story:

  • Harvey Weinstein is an American film producer and used to be the executive of The Weinstein Company
  • On October 5th the New York Times published a story about decades of harassment by Weinstein and numerous settlement cases
  • So far over 20 women have come forward and spoken out about their experiences, among them Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Rose McGowan
  • Since the story broke Weinstein has sent an apology to the New York Times and he has been fired from the board of his production company
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