The Psychology of Superstar Sex Predators
Hollywood is in a tailspin over how Harvey Weinstein concealed sexually abusive behavior from friends, colleagues, and perhaps an entire industry for decades. But while the investigation into Weinstein continues, recent research offers clues into why so many stars are prone to exploiting others.
LONDON – The Harvey Weinstein sexual assault scandal shows no sign of winding down. Just the opposite: police in the United Kingdom are now investigating several allegations involving the Oscar-winning film producer. While Weinstein has “unequivocally denied” allegations of non-consensual sex, and no arrests have been made, more than two dozen women – including the actors Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Rose McGowan – have publicly accused him of harassment. The allegations stretch over nearly three decades.
Hollywood is struggling to explain how one of its most visible figures could have gotten away with such behavior for so long. Woody Allen offered an important clue. Despite working with Weinstein on several films, he claims that no one ever brought allegations of abuse to his attention. “And they wouldn’t, because you are not interested in it,” Allen told the BBC. “You are interested in making your movie.” Others who worked with Weinstein over the years have made similar statements.
Is this the Hollywood equivalent of a police officer’s “blue wall of silence,” or is there something more clinical at work?