Harvey Weinstein, previously known as a scapegoat to rape apologists everywhere, has been sentenced to 23 years in prison. Other than the sentencing duration itself, the lede here is that the one-time Hollywood heavyweight’s sentence is much longer than Bill Cosby’s. (Shout-out to The Root’s Michael Harriot for the headline assist, by the way.)
As CNN reports, Weinstein faced between five and 29 years in prison after being convicted of a first-degree criminal sexual act and third-degree rape. Thus, it appears that the 67-year-old Hollywood mogul’s sentencing leaned toward the maximum.
The sentencing hearing for the convicted rapist went down on Wednesday with several accusers in attendance, including Jessica Mann, Miriam “Mimi” Haley, Annabella Sciorra, Tarale Wulff, Lauren Young, and Dawn Dunning. Attorney Gloria Allred and supporter/witness Rosie Perez also attended the hearing. New York Supreme Court Judge James Burke delivered the sentencing after dismissing Weinstein’s pleas.
What the women would soon witness was a remarkable, long and rambling monologue of self-defense and self-justification delivered in a low, rumbling voice by the man about to be sentenced. “I really feel remorse in this situation,” Weinstein said at one point, but also bemoaned the state of a country in which “thousands” of men are losing due process for behavior about which “they are confused.” He said, “I’m totally confused. Men are confused about this issue.”
Before Weinstein’s statement, lead prosecutor Joan Illuzzi read a lengthy plea requesting the maximum sentence and consecutive sentences. In a dramatic she quoted people who knew or worked with Weinstein, offering brief descriptions of Weinstein they provided: He is the devil. A liar. Very bad temper. Bragged that he would kill people. Power addict, Extremely temperamental. Predatory behavior. Gets off asserting power. Overwhelmingly ruined my life and my career. Temper would get worse and worse as he became more famous. Brutal and vicious. Working with him was a nightmare. Frightening being around him. He is a rapist. A screaming bully. He told me he would kill me and my entire family (“this was a young assistant, by the way,” said Illuzzi). Seemed sociopathic. Joy in demeaning people, he was a monster.
At the hearing, Weinstein expressed that he felt “remorse in this situation” before adding “I’m totally confused. Men are confused about this issue.” Also left confused are the swarms of people left wondering whose name to use as they grapple with the fact that their concern for convicted rapists takes precedence over victims.
Not unlike his penchant for using a disability to sway the public opinion and somehow benefit during his legal case, Weinstein has quite a bit in common with Cosby. Thus, another question (brought up by Harriot) emerges: was Weinstein the true potential buyer of NBC? For those wondering, NBC does not stand for “Niggas’ Bullshit Conspiracies,” but in fact stands for National Broadcasting Company; a broadcasting company that, as mentioned countless times before, is so fucking expensive (Comcast acquired NBC Universal for $6.5 billion), one individual celebrity couldn’t possibly acquire it.
And yet, in the true spirit of straight white male privilege, Weinstein has bested Cosby by being sentenced to more than double the number of years in prison.
As Haley said in her statement, “There are women out there who are safer because he is not out there.” For those fighting against rape culture who have had to deal with these triggering conspiracy theories on social media, the ultimate goal was for both men, and other predators like them to be punished (instead of one guy getting away with it just because the privileged guy seemingly did, too). That goal was accomplished today.
Just like the countless string of blockbuster films Weinstein produced, this is the part of the movie where the supervillain is defeated. Fin.