NEW YORK, NEW YORK–After a pair of bombshell stories in The New York Times and The New Yorker, which featured multiple women accusing him of sexual harassment and sexual assault, film executive Harvey Weinstein has seen his world quickly crumbling around him.
His wife filed for divorce. The eponymous company he founded severed ties with him. And nearly every famous acquaintance he had in Hollywood or Washington has gone on record denouncing him (though a few took appropriate time to verify that sexual assault committed by a donor still counts as reprehensible). Among Democrats, who once saw him as a valuable political ally, Weinstein may be less popular than Donald Trump at the moment–a distinction political scientists previously thought akin to absolute zero.*
But as his fall from grace continues, Weinstein has found a source of strength and hope in the form of former President Bill Clinton.
“Things may look dark now,” Weinstein wrote in an emailed statement, “but Bill shows me that there can be a future after assault.”
In many ways, the choice of Clinton as a possible role model is not surprising. Over the years, Clinton has been confronted by rape accusations from multiple women that were willing to go on record, including one who gave a primetime on-camera interview to NBC in the 1999.
Yet even though many of the accusers appeared credible, Clinton’s public image never suffered any lasting damage. The former president has pursued a lucrative public speaking career after the scandals, often collecting hundreds of thousands of dollars for a single speech. His reputation also remained strong enough in the political sphere that he was called upon to give a major speech at the last Democratic National Convention, endorsing his longtime roommate Hillary Clinton to be the standard-bearer for the party.
For Weinstein and others with “demons” that drive them to violate the rights of others, Bill Clinton counts as something of an inspiration. Or as Weinstein put it, “Bill’s success proves that accountability is not inevitable.”
*This is a satirical post. The quotes attributed to Weinstein are fictional.