FASSA SAR WRITES – This is a story of how the mighty have fallen. It has been about a month since a myriad of actresses confronted Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein on how he raped, sexually assaulted, and harassed them for decades.
Over 78 courageous women, including Angelina Jolie, Rose Mcgowan, Ashley Judd, went to the media about their encounters with Weinstein. Following the allegations, he was immediately fired from Weinstein Co. by his own company’s Board of Directors, and expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences indefinitely.
Weinstein’s alleged offenses have permeated Los Angeles, New York, London, and now has touched the likes of Hong Kong and Bangkok. Two Singaporean Actors, Caitanya Tan and Ase Wang, took to social media and released statements that they were spoken to inappropriately by Weinstein and asked to go to his hotel room in each encounter.
Last week, according to local Singaporean Publication, The New Paper, Tan met Weinstein on the red carpet in 2011 at the Asian Film Awards in Hong Kong. She was initially really excited to see Weinstein with her two friends, until he walked by and asked if she was an actress, to which she replied “yes.”
Tan stated that Weinstein had then invited her to his hotel room to go through “a couple of scripts.” She refused the invitation.
Tan stated Weinstein was in shock, replying back “Do you know who I am? Do you know I can make you very famous?” Weinstein reportedly told Tan, who replied that she didn’t “want to be famous like this.”
Ashe Wang also came out just days after Tan, stating a similar experience happened to her in 2007 at a dinner in front of a few other actresses in Bangkok. He first asked, “What type of men do you like.” Wang tried to ignore his proposition. Weinstein then stated, Wang should, “try white guys.” It didn’t end at this. Wang then received a call the next day to dine with Weinstein again. Wang declined, later stating, “I’m not into that kind of stuff.”
The obvious narrative here is that Weinstein explicitly exploited his power for sexual favors from aspiring actresses and models in order to make a point that it was a privilege to have a moment with him. Activists insist this is about sexism within the industry, but could this possibly be more about the art of power?
In addition, these troubling stories shed light on a culture of entertainment that has embraced a code of silence that is finally eroding. No longer is it acceptable for colleagues to turn a blind eye from the inappropriate behavior of their friends.