The Fall of Harvey Weinstein


#4064

Well, I think what Neeson said was almost as bad. I mean sure he didn’t act on what he felt, but the way he said it sure indicates that he would have given the opportunity.

The politicians “only” dressed up in blackface, something that today is surely racist but that even in 1980 could be explained as a “Halloween” costume. I saw yesterday that even Joy Behar has admitted to “darkening” her skin for a Halloween costume years ago.


#4065

Millennials: Everything stupid/offensive we did as a kid is now archived for eternity on the internet and its so damaging.

Boomers and Gen X: Hold my yearbook


#4066

Hahaha - that made me laugh out loud :D
I bet his publicist had absolute kittens. I have this mental picture of him making frantic silent hand gestures during the interview.


#4067

This is not true. It a myth that people keep spreading. This was not acceptable in the 1980s. Ignorance is just a bullshit excuse that has been used for decades. This is the 80s not the 60s.


#4068

I will definitely agree with you that anyone doing it in the 80’s was an idiot at best. But I think referring to all of them as racist is perhaps taking it to far. However, I fully understand we come from different backgrounds and understand if you see it differently. And I won’t argue with that.

I know you can’t really see what is in someone’s heart anymore than you can see what is in their head when they do something stupid like that. The fact that whoever put the photos in the yearbook and thought that was a good idea say a lot.


#4069

You mean the one standing next to a Klansman? That one? Yeah, oozing ignorance there. Couldn’t possibly be racist. Next you’ll be telling me if they walk around with nooses it was all idiot fun. No. They’re racists. But the state of being a racist doesn’t have to be permanent.

By the way, for those who don’t know, that one school stopped doing yearbooks because it was so bad. And they didn’t stop in the 80, they bred a culture full of racists.


#4070

If Neeson came out today and said no, he never did that, despite his interview, then it’d be similar to Northam.


#4071

I mean, obviously what he said he intended to do was worse than dressing up in blackface, but it also is something he intended to do, and never followed through on. I think we beat ourselves up a lot on some of the stuff we did when we were younger, “I could have done this, I almost did that”, and often as time continues to move forward, our memory of the past changes.

For sure he thought these awful things, but how much did he really want to act on it? He could have easily done so, but he didn’t. I think with 40+ years of hindsight it is easier to think how close he was to doing something that awful, while in fact, he just couldn’t do it.

I mean, we are talking about someone thinking something horrible vs someone doing something extremely offensive. It is very hard to compare the two.

Also, I think it makes more sense to understand the society of the 80’s as being a lot more racist than today. So, things that were racist (and they definitely were back then) just weren’t as publicly frowned on as they are now. Like, everyone knew what they were doing was transgressive, and edgy, but nobody was there to call them out on it? So it got a pass? And since it wasn’t something being broadcast to the world, it was probably seen as less offensive. Sure I am in blackface, but it is just around my close friends for a laugh!

It doesn’t make it any less racist, but you can understand. I can bet you 100 bucks nobody would have done that if they knew that a black colleague or student was attending that party. So, it is pretty obvious that they knew it was racist, they just knew they could get away with it.


#4072

Haha, read my mind.


#4073

The way he said it makes it seem that way, and he probably believes himself that he would have. But thinking of doing something like that, and actually doing them are very, very different things - there’s a reasons why stabbings (and violence crimes in general) are often associated with people under influence. It’s just not something that is easy to do. You have to be seriously out of your mind (or pretty desensitized) to actually kill (or attempt to kill) a stranger in cold blood - especially with a knife. Maybe he is/was that desensitized or that crazily angry - but given that he quickly realized that his thoughts were wrong, and didn’t actually do anything, I don’t see any reason to assume that is the case.

And again, even if he would have - he didn’t. It just makes no sense to me to go after people for thought crimes - especially when they admit to being horrified and ashamed of those thoughts.


#4074

I understand that these things don’t correlate one to one (i.e. just because he boxed doesn’t mean he could kill someone), but Neeson isn’t just a typical Hollywood actor, or even a typical resident of Ireland during the troubles.

The guy is physically huge, and was a very good boxer. He was used to beating the shit out of people (even if it may only have been in a sports context). I think it much less of a stretch that he could have done great violence to someone than the average doughy internet guy talking about how he’d kill someone.

Just adding some additional info on Neeson’s background physically.


#4075

Yes! And like I said earlier, he’s really good at pretending to be that kind of guy on camera for a reason.


#4076

I agree it is very hard to compare the two. However, simply saying you would kill someone because they were black has to out weigh the idiotic decision to go with black face for a dancing or costume competition.

I am in my 60s, and I don’t ever remember anyone ever doing the black face thing. Maybe that is because I grew up in California, I don’t know. Never in college, never at a drunken Halloween party, never. I know I grew up with guys who were racists, but they never talked about killing anyone either.


#4077

Never saw the blackface in St. Louis, either. I’m sure it happened, but I never saw it.

I never wanted to kill someone or knew someone who wanted to kill someone, either. I think if I did know someone who professed that and walked around for a week looking for a fight, I’d probably distance myself from that person.

Now, 40 years ago it happened and now, I’d give the person the benefit and forget about that past.


#4078

Have you had someone close to you raped? I, fortunately, haven’t. I don’t know what I would feel in that situation.

A lot of people seem to be skipping over why he felt that way. Contrast that to these guys wearing blackface. What caused them to do that? Was there trauma? I suspect not.

Ultimately, Neeson didn’t hurt anyone. Maybe it was sheer luck or maybe it’s because he didn’t cross the line of turning bad thoughts into bad actions. I’ll still have more of a problem with someone actually doing something bad (e.g., blackface) than someone thinking something worse (e.g., assualt/murder).


#4079

Yes. She told me about it years after it happened, and after shedding tears while she told the story, I felt blind rage toward the guy that did it, and demanded his name, which she would not tell me, probably for good reason. And I’m glad she didn’t, even though I doubt I would have actually followed through, because for a few minutes, I really did want to kill him.

But yeah, blind rage is called that for a reason. I completely lost my senses, and all reason went right out the window.

So I can sympathize with Neeson. A lot.
But I’d be even more sympathetic if he were to have directed his rage at only that one specific individual.


#4080

Yeah but were you going to walk into the street, find someone who was definitely not him, and kill him just because his skin color matched?

I don’t think Neeson should be getting the flack he’s getting over something he confessed that he thought about forty years ago, but what he said… it’s incredibly violent, racist and awful. The thing is he shared it; it must haunt him. He acknowledged it being awful, but let’s not pretend that what he said is even really revenge. He didn’t even care if it was the right guy.


#4081

Sorry. I edited in my last paragraph as you were posting.


#4082

That’s okay.

I understand the initial reaction of be appalled, but the next step I wish he did more to help people understand what he was trying to do by sharing that. Forty years ago. He didn’t actually do it. He seems sick, haunted, flawed maybe because he’s still thinking about it. It was a candid moment that just needed a little more… guiding.

If he targeted his rage at one person, this would’ve taken a completely different turn.


#4083

Totally agreed. I doubt this would even be an issue if that had been the case.