Dear Robert Rodriguez: F**k Off, Nobody Cares
Robert Rodriguez, director of films like Spy Kids, Desperado, From Dusk Till Dawn, Sin City, and the tragically underrated horror flick The Faculty (YEAH I SAID IT), decided to share his two cents about Harvey Weinstein by releasing a statement (picked up by Variety). And by “two cents” I mean like two hundred dollars because GOOD GOD MAN, STOP TALKING. As a director who released many films through Harvey’s brother Bob’s side of the business, Dimension Films, and as a guy who dated Rose McGowan for a while (a scandal all its own, as it came so soon after his surprising divorce from his wife, Elizabeth Avellán), it makes sense that he might have some inside knowledge. Knowledge that he’s apparently now ready to bravely come forward and share with the public.
So what’s his story? Oh, that Rose told him she was assaulted by Weinstein and, after the settlement, that she was blacklisted from even auditioning for any Miramax movie. So he decided to cast her in Planet Terror (his half of the double-feature, Grindhouse, that he made with Quentin Tarantino) as a direct fuck-you to Harvey:
Incensed at what I heard, I told Rose that she was not blacklisted from MY movies and that Harvey couldn’t tell me who to cast. The reason was that Harvey didn’t work on my movies, I made movies all those years for Dimension and Bob Weinstein. So I explained that if I cast her in my next film, Harvey couldn’t suddenly tell me no, because my first question would be “Oh, really? Why can’t I cast her?” And I was sure he would not want to tell me why.
I then revealed to Rose right then and there that I was about to start writing a movie with Quentin Tarantino, a double feature throwback to 70’s exploitation movies, and that if she was interested, I would write her a BAD ASS character and make her one of the leads. I wanted her to have a starring role in a big movie to take her OFF the blacklist, and the best part is that we would have Harvey’s new Weinstein Company pay for the whole damn thing.
Just as I finished telling Rose this, I saw Harvey walking around the party! I called Harvey over to our table, and as soon as he got close enough to see that I was sitting with Rose, his face dropped and went ghostly white. I said, “Hey Harvey, this is Rose McGowan. I think she’s amazing and really talented and I’m going to cast her in my next movie.” Harvey then dribbled all over himself in the most over the top performance I’d ever seen as he gushed, “Oh she’s wonderful, oh she’s amazing, oh she’s fantastic, oh she’s so talented… You two should definitely work together.” And then he skittered off. I knew right then that every word Rose told me was true, you could see it all over his face.
I looked over at Rose. Her mouth was open, and her eyes were wide. “WOW. I’ve never seen that before,” she said. I then told her that if she wanted a role that I would write it for her and Harvey’s company would have to fund it. Rose agreed, and the deal was done. I found it so commendable that she was putting the incident behind her and moving forward with her career. I wanted to help. We had a plan, and more importantly, we had a mission.
So, ok, fine. He’s kinda trying to be the hero, but it’s also a sort of interesting behind-the-scenes look at the way people who WERE in the know could exercise power against someone like Harvey, even in the midst of the NDAs and with careers on the line. It’s at least a pleasant diversion from all the dudes claiming they had no idea/just thought Harvey was a womanizer, etc. If Rodriguez had stopped there, it wouldn’t have been so bad. But he didn’t stop there.
With great understatement, I have to say that it was a long hard road to get that movie made. And even though “Grindhouse” received great reviews, Rose got terrific notices, and the film is still a fan favorite today… it was heartbreaking to see Harvey simply bury the movie for its release.
Until now, I’ve not been able to say anything about it out of respect for the NDA Rose had signed under extreme pressure from Harvey. I am still haunted and disillusioned that after all the good intentions, immense pain and struggle Rose and I and so many talented people went through to make the film, that Harvey Weinstein won in the end by burying the movie just because Rose was the lead actress.
Ok… so now we’re just talking about how sad it is that Grindhouse didn’t do better (it is sad, I loved it, but it was also like 3 hours long dude)? Because Harvey tanked it intentionally? But how does that make any financial sense? Also, not for nothing but it SORT OF sounds like Rodriguez is taking Rose’s assault and making it all about his own personal pain. But I’m sure I’m misreading that, it couldn’t possi —
Looking back over the years, I have wondered if I would have made the same choices, knowing the bleak outcome. We all suffered greatly on the film, and the journey ended up costing us all more than we ever bargained for. For me personally, it cost me my marriage of 16 years, my family, a large dose of sanity, and for years I have grappled with the sobering idea that maybe I made a grave error in standing up at all, when no one was even asking me to. I know that’s not the message I’d ever want to send out, but it’s been hard to justify something that now is clear was a lose/lose situation from the get-go, and that in the end failed and simply caused more damage. The reason I’m saying this is because it’s very clear to me now that when someone does what Harvey Weinstein did, the devastation goes far beyond predator and victim.
MOTHER. FUCKER. Really? The devastation goes beyond the predator and the victim, huh? Your pain should somehow be accounted for, alongside the women Weinstein harassed and assaulted? All these victims are standing up, and now you want credit for that one time YOU stood up and bravely made a movie that tanked? You can’t reveal yourself as a hero and then bemoan what that heroism cost you — certainly not all in the same damn statement. Because as much as you’re blaming Harvey for all your life’s woes, it also sounds like you just kinda regret ever getting involved (professionally or otherwise) with Rose McGowan. Which… not today, Satan.
Did Harvey use his power to harm people in ways other than sexual assault? Yes, of course. He was a bully. But that’s also not really the point right now.
Look, it’s not all bad. The main argument of his statement was to call for new legislation around NDAs and to emphasize that we need to stop predators before they act:
What I’ve learned from my own experience is that we as a society need to do a hell of a lot more about prevention. Once someone like Harvey Weinstein strikes, the waves, ripple effects, and the collateral damage that takes place are far-reaching, unstoppable, and unending. Once a predator strikes, it’s simply too late. We have to stop these actions from happening to begin with through education, harsher consequences, and zero tolerance. We must ensure that justice is served and demand cultural change in our country so that this never happens again.
Because the dozens of women who have come forward with stories of assault and harassment from Harvey Weinstein are only a piece of the larger picture. There’s also all that collateral damage. Like, say, when a dude casts a victim in his movie and then it tanks.
Happy Friday folks!