Harvey Weinstein. Picture: REUTERS
Harvey Weinstein. Picture: REUTERS

Hollywood is in the business of producing films littered with misogyny, violence and the depiction of women as sex objects.

So it is amusing that a powerful Hollywood insider such as Harvey Weinstein embraced these values in his personal life.

But this is no laughing matter.

Since The New York Times published an article alleging Weinstein was using his position of power to abuse young actresses, more than 30 have come forward with allegations that include assault and rape.

That newspaper reported on Weinstein’s rapid decline. On Saturday, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences axed him.

On Monday, the Producers Guild of America terminated Weinstein’s membership.

Actress Angelina Jolie said she would never work with him again after she was pawed by Weinstein.

Weinstein’s fall has been all the more rapid because of the power of social media.

This followed a tweet by Alyssa Milano, who wrote: "If you’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted write ‘me too’ as a reply to this tweet."

Facebook, Twitter and Instagram were flooded with #metoo posts.

On Twitter, the hashtag was "used more than 500,000 times in its first 24 hours by people from all lines of work", The New York Times reported.

Among those who took part were Lady Gaga, Anna Paquin and Evan Rachel Wood.

A flood of new allegations against men in the entertainment industry has followed from Bjork, Lili Reinhart and Courtney Love, the newspaper reported.

Skewering Weinstein in The New York Times’s Sunday Review, columnist Maureen Dowd wrote:

"Now we are inundated with grotesque tales of Harvey Weinstein pulling out his penis to show to appalled and frightened young women, enlisting the pimping help of agents and assistants to have actresses delivered to his hotel rooms, where he pestered the women to watch him shower or give him a massage or engage in intimate acts."

Dowd wrote that the shock was all the greater because Weinstein "was someone with taste who was trying to make movies with great roles for women of all ages, a top Democratic fundraiser who was pushing to make Hillary Clinton the first woman president, a man trusted by the Obamas to have their daughter intern at his company".

The fall of "Harvey Scissorhands" (a nickname he enjoyed) has opened Hollywood’s floodgates.

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