The M&M Report: Harvey Weinstein and Hollywood’s Ugly Truth

Weinstein

Mark and Devin examine the recent spate of sexual assault and harassment allegations against Hollywood superproducer Harvey Weinstein. They consider how such heinous crimes could have been permitted to continue for more than three decades, and what this escalating news story says about the hidden culture behind the entertainment products they love to consume.

If you want to offer feedback or constructive criticisms about this episode, please reach out on Twitter (@MarkALieberman and @DevinMitchell) or by email. We’re not scholars on these subjects, and we’re eager for comments from perspectives other than our own.

Reading material

Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey, New York Times, Oct. 5. “Harvey Weinstein Paid Off Sexual Harassment Accusers for Decades.”

Ronan Farrow, New Yorker, Oct. 10. “From Aggressive Overtures to Sexual Assault; Harvey Weinstein’s Accusers Tell Their Stories.”

Jodi Kantor and Rachel Abrams, New York Times, Oct. 10. “Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie and Others Say Weinstein Harassed Them.”

Jia Tolentino, New Yorker, Oct. 11. “Harvey Weinstein and the Impunity of Powerful Men.”

Lisa Ryan, Vulture, Oct. 11. “An Exhaustive List of the Allegations Against Harvey Weinstein.”

Lupita Nyong’o, New York Times, Oct. 19. “Speaking Out Against Harvey Weinstein.”

Ronan Farrow, New Yorker, Oct. 27. “Weighing the Costs of Speaking Out Against Harvey Weinstein.”

Chloe Melas, CNN, Oct. 27. “Harvey Weinstein’s New York haunt: Former servers describe tantrums and revolving door of women.”

Listen here. And subscribe.

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“The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies”: At Last, Closure

Hobbit

Sometimes, low expectations pay off.

I skipped the second movie in the unnecessarily protracted trilogy of Peter Jackson’s Hobbit movies because I found the first one laborious and lumbering. In The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Jackson & Co. mistake a lengthy running time and an enormous budget for grandeur and momentum. The narrative progresses listlessly, with an endless opening sequence that establishes the characters and plot in painstaking detail, lengthy battle sequences that neither advance the plot nor illuminate the characters, and an inevitably inconclusive ending that left me with little enthusiasm for one more round, let alone two.

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The M&M (Written) Report: Censorship and Diplomacy, post-Sony Hack

Interview

Sony Pictures Entertainment announced on Wednesday that they would not be releasing The Interview, the film depicting a fictional assassination of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un. The move came in response to threats of terrorism against theaters showing the movie from the group known as Guardians of the Peace. The group stole and released huge amounts of Sony’s internal communications and is believed to be working with the North Korean government in some capacity.

My friend Devin Mitchell invited me to discuss this issue with him. Below, a transcript of our online conversation.

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The M&M Report, Episode 32: When Hollywood Meets Reality

Bert Cooper

Listen to this week’s episode here.

This week on The M&M Report, Devin Mitchell and I discuss the recent controversy involving Washington Post film critic Ann Hornaday’s assertion that Hollywood movies contribute to the culture that allowed an incident like last Friday’s shooting at UCSB to take place. We talked about Seth Rogen’s unfortunate response to the piece and debated whether Hornaday’s arguments of causation were valid and productive.

After that, we reviewed Jon Favreau’s food dramedy Chef, which made us very hungry indeed.

Finally, we took a look back at the first part of the final season of AMC’s Mad Men. We couldn’t come to a consensus on the musical number in the season finale, but we liked the rest of it quite a bit.

Come back soon for our thoughts on Orange is the New Black, Breaking Bad, summer movies and much more. Thanks for listening!

Click through for the time breakdown.

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