Deception & Misdirection

The Charity-Washing Cheese

Exposing the Hollywood-Media Industrial Complex – a.k.a. “Show-Biz”


How the mighty have fallen.

Perhaps the most striking revelation to emerge from the sleazy depths of film producer Harvey Weinstein’s sexual antics is the sheer hypocrisy rampant in the entertainment industry. The magnitude of sordid accusations against producers, directors, actors, journalists—all of “show biz”—is matched only by their cynical treatment of women.

If Weinstein and his ilk have made one thing clear, it’s that they never respected women—despite their loud attempts to whitewash their image as good feminists. CRC’s president Scott Walter has named this practice “charity-washing”: using nonprofits and virtue signaling to concoct a noble self-portrait.

Image credit: goo.gl/ywSY5

Weinstein was a master charity-washer. For example, photos abound of Weinstein and wife at a May 2017 gala in New York in support of Planned Parenthood, a group he pledged to support with a $100,000 donation (the group now says the donation “went unfulfilled”). When guest speaker Hillary Clinton delivered her passionate remarks on protecting women’s health, Weinstein joined a number of actresses in a standing ovation, according to the Hollywood Reporter. “And I believe, as you do, that trusting and valuing women is the right and moral position to take,” Clinton said. No doubt Weinstein nodded along.

This episode is particularly ironic, given Weinstein’s support for Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign and Hillary’s own charity-washing. The Clinton Foundation—which lists promoting economic equality for women as a main priority—is much better at getting money into the hands of the Clintons than of the needy.

Weinstein also sat on the board of the Robin Hood Foundation, where he’s been described as a “fixture.” The group describes itself as New York’s largest poverty-fighting nonprofit and gives grants to groups for that end—around a dozen of which are focused on helping women, according to its website.

The producer’s oozing hypocrisy is especially galling because of his pledge to fund a $5 million endowment to support women filmmakers at the University of Southern California (USC). In his notorious, rambling apology after his misdeeds were exposed, Weinstein explained he would cleanse himself via charity:

One year ago, I began organizing a $5 million foundation to give scholarships to women directors at USC. While this might seem coincidental, it has been in the works for a year. It will be named after my mom and I won’t disappoint her.

Harvey Weinstein seated between Hillary Clinton and Huma Abedin, a top aide. Image credit: goo.gl/7YJYcT

In other words, Weinstein’s response to rape allegations amounts to cash donations and attacking conservatives:

I am going to need a place to channel that anger so I’ve decided that I’m going to give the NRA my full attention. I hope [NRA executive vice president] Wayne LaPierre will enjoy his retirement party.

Allegations against actor Kevin Spacey for preying on young men for years—including a 14-year-old—also have a charity-washing angle: the actor created the Kevin Spacey Foundation, which supports“school children, young people and emerging artists in the performing arts and film.” You can’t help wondering if this charity won’t turn out to resemble Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky’s disgraced charity, The Second Mile, through which he groomed underage boys for his abuse.

Actor Kevin Spacey. Image credit: goo.gl/RMPfu7

Spacey’s fellow actor Ben Affleck, who was one of the first to denounce Weinstein’s behavior, appears to be another charity-washer. He soon found himself accused of groping actress Hilarie Burton. Affleck prides himself on his liberal politics and is a vocal supporter of the Democratic Party. “People now know me as a Democrat,” he said in a 2013 interview with (of all things) Playboy magazine. A 2016 Glamour article say Affleck’s charity, the Eastern Congo Initiative, may make him “the strongest supporter the women of the Congo have ever had.”

“I sat with a woman who had been raped multiple times before she was 12,” [Affleck] says…. “How can something like this not burn itself into my brain forever? How can we not do everything we can?”

It’s not just the movie stars who are involved, either. In the Hollywood-Media Industrial Complex, film elites are given a stage to charity-wash their image by friends in the fawning media, which celebrates them as champions of feminism and Progressivism. And it works – until the journalists are exposed as women-abusers, too.

Allegations of sexual harassment led Vox, a left-wing blog, to fire editorial director Lockhart Steele. Another dozen or so women have accused veteran ABC News journalist Mark Halperin of propositioning them for sex and physically assaulting them. Halperin, a former journalist for MSNBC, is a regular contributor on the liberal TV show “Morning Joe.”

Michael Oreskes, senior vice president of news and editorial director at National Public Radio (NPR), resigned after five women accused him of sexual harassment over the years. If true, the two decades’ worth of lies make Oreskes’s September 2016 article on trustworthiness in the media laughable:

We need potential listeners and readers to believe we are presenting the facts honestly, and not to confirm our opinions.

It is not overly sweeping a thought to say this is a nation built on a faith in facts. At NPR we still hold that faith in facts.

“Journalism has been taking it on the chin,” Oreskes somberly said in an interview last November. “Lots of people just don’t believe us anymore.”

I wonder why?

Hayden Ludwig

Hayden Ludwig is the Communications Assistant at Capital Research Center. He is a native of Orange County, California, and a graduate of Sonoma State University.
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