Aspiring actress Climonan Enjoy explains, ‘I feel sorry for virtuous talented young actresses who felt under pressure, not to go through that sleazebag Harvey Weinstein, but to let Harvey go through them, to get into movies. But to be honest, in my case with no acting training or connections the only asset I have to use to get ahead in this business, is my sex appeal. I work 60 hours a week as a waitress, it is a really shitty job. Ten bizarre minutes of watching an ugly walrus crank one out into a flowerpot or even lying back, closing my eyes and thinking of George Clooney, was a price I was prepared to pay to break into movies. Now that avenue may be closed. I will actually have to learn my lines and learn how to act as no producer will be allowed to succumb to my feminine charms anymore for fear of being labeled an abuser.
Sleeping your way to the top is an age-old Hollywood tradition. Lana Del Ray sang about ‘I f**ked my way to the top’. There are very few businesses left where women can use all their assets, including their physical assets, to get from rags to riches. I don’t fancy the remaining options.
In the golden age of Hollywood it was the only way for poor girls to get a foot in the door, for example Bette Davis claimed Joan Crawford, used sex to advance her career. “She slept with every star at MGM”, she alleged later, “of both sexes’’. Gore Vidal said Grace Kelly was the same, advancing her career “by almost always sleeping with the leading man . . . She was famous for that in this town.” Jean Harlow married an MGM producer to advance her career. The list goes on and on, women were not always innocent in the casting couch situation, in using their feminine charms to get what they want. Marylin Monroe a queen of using her feminine charms to get what and who she wanted called Hollywood ‘An overcrowded brothel, a merry-go-round with beds for horses’. Marylin was asked what was the key to her success in the movies and she said she “spent a great deal of time on my knees”. She did add that you needed more than willingly giving sex to the right people to become a star, ‘but it helps’.
How many of those amazing sensual, real women, many from a background in poverty, without the luxury to take acting classes would have had a chance of success without the casting couch route? Likewise I am sure it is happening with powerful older women in the business and handsome ambitious young men. It is OK for Gwyneth Paltrow and the other luvvies born with a silver spoon in their mouth, the luxury to take acting classes and having connections, but not for the rest of us.
Why is everyone in Hollywood now faux-shocked about the fact that casting couch culture is prevalent within casting couch culture? D’oh! The clue is in the name. This culture is as old as Hollywood itself. Why have all the luvvies waited until now, years after the abuse they say they suffered, to come out publicly about being harassed by that bathrobed plant spunker Harvey? Why are they queuing up to push him under a bus now when his power has waned, when they were all hugging him and calling him god like 5 minutes ago? Look Hollywood is sleazy, sometimes ambitious women want to trade sex for professional success. More often powerful professional men want to trade their power for sexual success with women. In that environment douche bags like Harvey thrive and sometimes women get hurt.
But not all women, we are not all angels either. For every woman that is publicly complaining about Harvey, there will be many keeping quiet, with a sordid secret of willingly trading themselves, a special massage or a few minutes rodeo on Jabba the Hutt, for fame and fortune. Power is a great leg opener. Jennifer Lawrence had four Oscar nominations, not the greatest actress. I’m not making any accusations, but all I am saying is that woman must be able to suck an orange through a hose pipe.
Thankfully not all producers are as physically repulsive as Harvey, but now that it looks like one of the last bastions of indiscretion is gone, the casting couch route to the big time, it is great news for all the fortunate and good girls out there. But what about the rest of us? How will we work it if we can’t use our milkshake to seduce our way to fame and fortune? All I have is a shitty CV, a great rack, low morals and a dream to get out of waitressing, how will I make it onto the silver screen now?”