In my world, the word of the year was “tenders,” because I moved about ten feet away from a Popeyes in January and have ordered enough spicy tenders to keep them in business. But for Dictionary.com, the word of 2017 was “complicit.” That’s a word that was used over and over again when talking about how some people within Harvey Weinstein’s circle knew about how his behavior and did nothing.
The New York Times recently published a piece about those complicit people titled Weinsten’s Complicity Machine. They attempt to explain how Harvey could be Harvey for so long inside and outside the walls of The Weinstein Company. Apparently “That’s just Harvey being Harvey” was a common phrase uttered by agents and managers in response to complaints. One such possible instance of complicity involves Lena Dunham and aides of Hillary Clinton.
Harvey was a big financial donor to Hillary Clinton’s campaign for President in 2016. He had also donated money to Bill Clinton’s campaign in the 90s. About a week after Harvey was exposed as an alleged serial assaulter in October, Hillary Clinton released a statement that said she was “shocked and appalled” by the revelations. According to the Times, Hillary’s aides might not have been that shocked.
Lena Dunham was extremely active in Hillary Clinton’s campaign, but she wasn’t too enthused about Harvey’s involvement. In March 2016, she says she informed Hillary’s deputy communications director Kristina Schake about the stories she had heard from other actresses about Harvey’s alleged behavior. Lena says she told Kristina that Harvery was “a rapist” and that it was going to come out at some point. Lena also claims to have made it known she didn’t think it was a great idea to have him hosting events and fundraisers when his alleged behavior of sexual assault was an “open secret” in Hollywood.
Lena says Kristina told her that she would relay the message to Hillary’s campaign manager Robby Mook. Lena says she also warned Hillary’s spokesperson Adrienne Elrod about Harvey. They all must have tuned Lena out (to be fair, a natural response). Because a week before the election, Harvey hosted a celebrity-packed event.
According to the Times, former Vanity Fair editor Tina Brown claims to have told someone in Hillary’s inner circle the same thing about Harvey Weinstein back in 2008.
Kristina Schake and Adrienne Elrod deny that Lena Dunham said anything about Harvey being a rapist. Robby Mook says no one said anything to him about Harvey, period. Hillary Clinton’s communication director Nick Merrill gave a statement, basically calling Lena a fibber.
“We were shocked when we learned what he’d done. It’s despicable behavior, and the women that have come forward have shown enormous courage. As to claims about a warning, that’s something staff wouldn’t forget. Only [Lena] can answer why she would tell them instead of those who could stop him.”
Nick also says they have no record of Tina Brown’s comments about Harvey.
Lena Dunham says she still has an “incredible allegiance” to Hillary Clinton, and believes her complains about Harvey never made it to Hillary.
It sounds like Lena really tried to blow that whistle as loud as she could, and yet no one took her seriously. But knowing Lena, she won’t stop blowing the whistle of justice on the alleged rapists of the entertainment industry. So, watch out, alleged rapists! Well, unless you’re an alleged rapist who knows her personally, in which case, don’t worry, you’re fine.