UPDATE with video Sublimated anger toward Donald Trump is contributing to the “feeding frenzy” around Harvey Weinstein, former Hollywood Reporter editor Janice Min said on tonight’s Real Time with Bill Maher.
Pointing out the recent one-year anniversary of Trump’s notorious Access Hollywood recording, Min suggested that Weinstein presents a “possible, tangible crime and punishment” opportunity that Trump dodged.
Maher too drew comparisons between Weinstein and Trump. “I’ve heard conservatives say it took a village to help Harvey Weinstein. It also took a village to elect the other sex predator.”
Min, now Co-President and Chief Creative Officer of The Hollywood Reporter-Billboard Media Group, said that Weinstein’s employees would often joke about his temper tantrums, throwing things during meetings, punching brother Bob in the nose, “but no one in seven years would ever go on the record and say he sexually assaulted someone.”
“If you’ve ever met people who worked at Weinstein Company or Miramax,” she said, “there’s this palpable PTSD about them.”
Min said Weinstein “loomed over” her seven-year tenure as THR‘s editor, telling Maher that her first hire was reporter Kim Masters, who relayed an off-the-record Weinstein interview to her. According to Min, Masters asked Weinstein, in the presence of two female Weinstein publicists, “I heard you rape women, what can you say to that?”
Min wouldn’t tell Maher what Weinstein’s off-the-record answer was, but said, “It definitely didn’t make me doubt all the smoke that was in the air.”
“I knew this was going on in Hollywood,” Min said at one point, “but not to this extent.” Maher compared this week’s revelations to Roseanne Barr’s much-doubted insistence during the 1990s about the prevalence of child molestation, “and she was right.”
Min lamented the “Robespierre-French Revolution” aspect of the Weinstein revelations, offering two “unfortunate” examples, the first being that viral spread of Ben Affleck’s 2003 appearance on MTV’s TRL, during which he groped host Hilarie Burton. The video surfaced after Affleck issued “a very nice statement” supporting women in Hollywood.
“Do you think Ben Affleck will ever talk about this topic again,” Min asked. “Not in a million years.”
The second example, Min said, was Molly Ringwald’s use in a New Yorker essay of an old, “pick-up quote of a pick-up quote” by Jeffrey Katzenberg, in which Ringwald recalled reading a Movieline article that had the exec saying “I wouldn’t even know Molly Ringwald if she sat on my face.”
“I have never known him to speak like that, ever,” Min said. To which Maher responded, “He’s not that funny.”
During the YouTube-only Overtime segment of the show, Min was asked about Democrats and organizations returning money Weinstein donated. “Take the money,” she said. “It’s already spent.” Referencing reports that the University of Southern California is rejecting Weinstein’s $5 million pledge, Min said, “Where’s it going to go, to the board? To the company that’s already in failure? Keep it.”