Just three weeks before his highly-anticipated trial, Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein bemoaned his status as a "forgotten man" in a private interview with The New York Post. Weinstein, who is the subject of more than 90 sexual abuse allegations and faces criminal charges for five of them, believes that his status as a criminal should not overshadow his past efforts to promote gender equality in the film industry.
In his own words, Weinstein was a "pioneer" of this equality, promoting the work of female directors and actors long before it became "vogue" to do so. The former producer seems to believe that he should be remembered for the unique opportunities he provided to the women he worked with, not for the consistent patterns of abuse and harassment he employed against the same women over the duration of his career.
In his mind, the fact that his reputation strays so far from these achievements is an injustice and means that he's been forgotten in the eyes of the public.
In a perfect world, men like Weinstein would indeed be forgotten — scrubbed out like the stains they are and cleanly erased from history.
This would simplify things for a lot of people, like the dozens of victims he left in his wake, their friends, their families, and everyone else affected by Weinstein's decades-long tirade against the sexual agency of women. Unfortunately for both parties, though, sexual trauma is not something that is so easily buried.
The women Weinstein preyed upon will never have the luxury of forgetting his name or his actions, as much as they may like to do so.
Actress Rose McGowan, who was one of the first women to pose rape allegations against Weinstein, addressed via Twitter her inability to forget his actions and her eagerness to stop "a prolific rapist" by speaking out against him. In addition to McGowan, 22 other women who have accused Weinstein of sexual assault released a statement describing Weinstein's "forgotten man" comments as his way of gaslighting the public or manipulating people with false or irrelevant information in order to sway favor his way.
Weinstein will try until his dying day to cover up the atrocities he committed against women during his career.
This interview with The New York Post is just the first of many attempts to do so. His fears that he will be "forgotten," however, are sorely misplaced, his successes as a producer have been irrelevant from the moment he first broke the law. What remains relevant, though, are his sexual crimes, which will live on forever within the women he victimized. As long as they are alive and speaking out, Weinstein will go down in history exactly the way he was meant to: not a misunderstood producer, but a cruel and manipulative predator.