May 31, 2018
Let’s read into the books Harvey Weinstein brought with him to court, shall we?
by Taylor Sperry
Given that he was probably supposed to be paying attention during his arraignment and that he seems like more of a look-at-your-iPhone than a read-a-book commuter, it’s confusing that Harvey Weinstein showed up at a New York City police station on Friday toting copies of Something Wonderful: Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Broadway Revolution by Todd S. Purdum and Elia Kazan: A Biography by Richard Schickel.
What are you trying to tell us, Harvey?
Well, Elia Kazan was a Tony- and Oscar-winning director who, in addition to producing such legendary classics as “A Streetcar Named Desire,” “Death of a Salesman,” and “East of Eden,” cooperated with the House Un-American Activities Committee by naming eight members of the Communist Party in 1952. For the Hollywood Reporter, Gregg Kilday speculates that Weinstein, shunned now as Kazan was in the fifties, could “be sending a subtle threat” that he, like Kazan, is willing to name names “to save his own career.”
Or, Kilday posits, Weinstein’s bookish props could reflect a combination of nostalgia for Broadway’s glory days and a hope for “a future in which he’s welcomed back to Hollywood” as was Kazan in the late 1990s.
Fortunately for the more than eighty women who have accused Weinstein of misconduct, and the #MeToo effort at large, it doesn’t look like that’s how this particular story is going to end. (Spoiler alert.)
Taylor Sperry is a former Melville House editor.