You know who probably has some underwhelming, stingy, and plain dumb ideas about the #MeToo movement? (I mean, aside from that guy on Twitter, the one you went on a date with last week, the one who sits next to you at work, and the one muttering to himself in audible proximity to you?) If you guessed Harvey Weinstein’s star attorney, Benjamin Brafman, then your headline-reading senses are keen!
In his first interview since formal charges were brought against Weinstein, Brafman told BBC Radio 4 (as reported by Buzzfeed) on Thursday that the #MeToo movement is “proving so over the top,” rendering his colleagues so paralyzed with fear that they’re unable to tell “an attractive associate that they’re wearing a nice outfit.” I had no idea…that men have lost so much.
Of his disgraced client, Brafman said:
“He’s a complex man who has already suffered a great deal of public humiliation, and I’m trying very hard as a good person to do my best to deal with the sadness and the regret and the enormous responsibility of representing him in this tsunami of ill will that has unfortunately been generated by some people who I think are fundamentally dishonest.”
Brafman also commented on Rose McGowan, far less generously, saying, “I think she doesn’t know what she is talking about as a general proposition.”
Finally, Brafman said something terribly suspect about “movements” in general. “Look,” he added, “I understand [#MeToo] intellectually. There are parts of it that are in my opinion intellectually dishonest, but I think movements are generally dangerous in a democracy.” There are many places to begin with this very wrong statement, but what bothers me most is this shallow invocation of intellect, implying that the supporters of this movement are both dishonest and stupid. Defending Weinstein is a tall order, surely it could be done without denigrating an entire movement and, in fact, all democratic movements.
In May, Weinstein was indicted on charges of rape in the first and third degree, and a criminal sex act in the first degree. The charges stem from allegations made by two women, including actor Lucia Evans. Weinstein has pleaded not guilty to these charges.