Rose McGowan, loud ‘n’ proud critic of Hollywood for its culture of sexual impropriety and salacious exchange, whistleblower of harassment and abuse, suddenly clammed up Monday.
Previously, she was singing like a canary — about many things, including the actions of Harvey Weinstein related to women such as herself and fellow thespian Asia Argento.
But there’s a new storyline in town.
According to The New York Times, Argento paid former child actor Jimmy Bennett a whopping $380,000 to keep quiet his claim that she had sex with him when he was 17, otherwise known as sexual assault in California, where the liaison took place.
As a reminder, the Italian actress claims Weinstein…well, here’s an excerpt from Ronan Farrow’s revelatory 2017 New Yorker piece:
“Asia Argento, an Italian film actress and director, said that she did not speak out until now—Weinstein, she told me, forcibly performed oral sex on her—because she feared that Weinstein would ‘crush’ her. ‘I know he has crushed a lot of people before,’ Argento said. ‘That’s why this story—in my case, it’s twenty years old, some of them are older—has never come out.'”
As for the aftermath:
“‘The thing with being a victim is I felt responsible,’ she said. ‘Because, if I were a strong woman, I would have kicked him in the balls and run away. But I didn’t. And so I felt responsible.’ She described the incident as a ‘horrible trauma.’ Decades later, she said, oral sex is still ruined for her. ‘I’ve been damaged,’ she told me. ‘Just talking to you about it, my whole body is shaking.'”
Now back to Jimmy Bennett. For ten months, McGowan has treaded with the subtlety of a fire engine over Harvey Weinstein and the entire Hollywood system.
So what of Argento and Bennett?
Jimmy alleges that, after meeting Asia at the Marina del Rey Ritz-Carlton with a relative on May 10, 2013, she asked to be alone with him. She gave her former co-star alcohol, kissed him, performed oral sex on him, and then had intercourse with him.
As per The Hollywood Reporter:
“The documents say that Argento then asked to take a number of photos with him. Photos of Argento and Bennett semi-clothed in bed, as well as an Instagram post of their faces taken on that day, were included in the notice of intent to sue.”
Here’s an added bonus of weirdness, courtesy of People magazine:
“When Bennett was just seven years old, the pair met on set of Argento’s The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things, in which they played an on-screen mother-son duo. Following the film’s release, they reportedly remained close, frequently referring to each other as different variations of ‘mom’ and ‘son’ across social media.”
But first, let’s review McGowan’s past statments:
“It’s quite simple, all who have worked with known predators should do 3 simple things. 1) Believe survivors 2) Apologize for putting your careers and wallets before what was right. 3) Grab a spine and denounce. If you do not do these things you are still moral cowards.
It’s quite simple, all who have worked with known predators should do 3 simple things. 1) Believe survivors 2) Apologize for putting your careers and wallets before what was right. 3) Grab a spine and denounce. If you do not do these things you are still moral cowards. #ROSEARMY
— rose mcgowan (@rosemcgowan) November 17, 2017
— rose mcgowan (@rosemcgowan) January 4, 2018
So what’s Rose’s response to the Jimmy Bennett story? Condemn Asia? Believe Jimmy?
Here it is:
“None of us know the truth of the situation and I’m sure more will be revealed. Be gentle.”
In the words of Fred Willard in Best in Show:
If you’re going to stand for something, you can’t take a seat when things get dicey.
To be clear, the point of this article isn’t to attack Rose McGowan; I believe she’s had a hard life, and she’s dealing with it in the ways that make sense to her. As we all are. I just believe that whatever standard is given to potential victims and purported assailants should be consistent. And I disagree with Rose that “all women” — or all victims — should be always believed without reason. I think her most recent tweet is equitable; and her previous positions are not.
For what it’s worth, I have a different take than some on the entire #MeToo movement. If you’re exposing a system wherein women submit to sexual activity in order to further their careers and men grant career opportunities for the benefit of sexual favors, you’re exposing and implicating the women in that system as much as the men. You’re telling the world about both sides, equally. And in that light, neither side looks good.
For something totally different, please check out my coverage of Bill Clinton’s opinion of whether he could get elected today, reverse engineering the NFL, and political correctness & why we should never call it that.
Find all my RedState work here.
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