An Open Letter to Harvey Weinstein

Dear Mr. Weinstein,


You probably haven’t heard that much, what with being the most powerful man in Hollywood and all. But the news that you’ve spent decades inviting young women up to your hotel rooms and expecting them to watch you shower or give you a massage or stroke your ego or your genitals in exchange for a little career bump is disgusting. You are disgusting. And all I could think while reading your pathetic statement about this now-public mess, is no.

No to the claim that you “came of age” in an era when rules about workplace behavior were different. Here’s a newsflash, most people don’t need explicit rules to understand that asking a 20-year-old, who thought she was attending a business meeting, to watch you shower is creepy and disgusting and wrong. And no amount of talent or good works or sensitivity training will absolve you of your actions. You are not that special.

I get the sense that you think you’re not like those other men. You’re not a rapist, you didn’t force anyone to do anything. You’re wrong. Sexual coercion by a man in power—and who is more powerful than you?—is just as despicable as sexual assault. You don’t have to commit a violent act to commit an unforgivable violation. You don’t have to penetrate your victim to leave her feeling ashamed and confused and alone. You don’t have to leave a bruise to leave her wondering if she did something to encourage you. So don’t think you can buy your way out of this mess with a fundraiser or a political vendetta. Go to hell, Harvey Weinstein.

When you get there, say hello to Hugh Hefner. If I have to read or hear one more laudatory word about the lifelong Playboy, I will vomit. No, I do not care that he published great writers. I do not care that he supported causes I believe in. I do not care about any of it. It does not erase the fact that this is a man who called Quaaludes “thigh openers” and who employed the hiring practices and working conditions of a common pimp at his Playboy Clubs in the 1960s and 70s. There was nothing “free” about Hefner’s version of sexual freedom—not for the women. Of course he surrounded himself with writers and celebrities, it made him seem like something other than a sad little pervert in a ridiculous hat.

Well, now you’re the sad little pervert, Mr. Weinstein. You say you are making a movie about the current president. You certainly are uniquely qualified. After all, one sexual predator can surely drill down into the psyche of another. Will I see it? No.

With sincere disgust,

A woman who is sick to death of men like you



Tiffany Quay Tyson
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