Actress Rose McGowan took Meryl Streep to task for remaining silent about the Harvey Weinstein revelations. Ms. Streep assured us that she does not “tacitly approve of rape” and that she does not “like young women being assaulted.” She repeats that “She did not know.”
What did Ms. Streep think the Seth McFarlane jokes at the 2013 Academy Awards were about? She was a presenter, coming off her 2012 win, so we know she was there. There was a cultural undercurrent on Mr. Weinstein’s conduct. His conduct was alluded to by Gwyneth Paltrow on the “Late Show with David Letterman,” joked about in the “Family Guy” and “Entourage,” with a character named Harvey Weingard.
The bystander effect grabs everyone, even Oscar winners with 19 total nominations. You know something is there, but what you know is awkward. You assume someone else will speak up. You figure it is none of your business. You are not directly involved. And the rationalizations and justifications stream forth. But in the end, after all the damage is revealed through the inaction of many, the protests of ignorance ring hollow.