Harvey Weinstein: Priests, Police, Prostitutes, and Penn State

WOW, what a shocker that someone from Hollywood engaged in something decadent. Escalating the “I’m appalled” factor about the industry insider’s best-kept secret was that so many peers were aware of Weinstein’s behavior and failed to respond.

Not Just Movie Stars

The truth is, this isn’t a Hollywood problem. Pick any group, community or culture and there will be the secrets leading to depraved behavior.

My doctoral dissertation research set out to focus on law enforcement’s culture. What I discovered along the way was that a certain set of dynamics that are dominant in that environment also exist in many others.

Academic research on police culture remains limited because of the secreted nature of the profession. I understood this before undertaking my research topic, but I also knew that as a highly decorated veteran of the profession, I would have entree where academics-only would not.

I was forced to search parallel data about similar organizations and cultures. By broadening the scope of my research, I began to discover patterns among groups I loosely title; Priests, Police, Prostitutes and Penn State.

Priests, Police, Prostitutes and Penn State.

The combination of these elements and the deviant ideology links Weinstein’s behavior within the Hollywood culture to other groups such as priests (Catholic church sex abuse cases), coaches (Penn State football sex abuse scandal), federal employees and military (U.S. Secret Service/ Army prostitution investigation.)

The sociological phenomenon of homogeneity operating in a vacuum apart from oversight creates environments (formerly termed – hegemonic masculinity) where control over others is exercised to justify illicit behavior that satisfies decadent desires.

Bigger Than Harvey

When you look at the dynamics of Hollywood for not what they do, but the bubble within which they operate, you can easily see how their disconnected culture resembles those of other explosive fraternities set apart from society’s standard expectations for accountable behavior.

Just as there are more than one pedophile priest, or sexual predator coach, their are others like Harvey Weinstein. While they may not exercise with as much sheer power over an industry, they do in fact operate within an environment of sexual deviance.

How does a Harvey Weinstein “get away with it?”

The same way crooked cops, and Jerry Sandusky did. People who know, participate on the fringe or unexpectedly become a witness to the act, all have a similar response.

Silence.

Why do people with an opportunity choose to remain silent when others are at stake? There are many reasons, but most do not want to get involved, they enjoy their membership in the culture and blowing the whistle might or might not stop the violator, but it will have them expelled from the club of privilege, and most are involved in their own sinful scenarios.

“How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ while there is still a beam in your own eye? You hypocrite! First take the beam out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”

Matthew 7:4-5

Detrimental Homogenetic Entitlement

I came to understand the dynamic of occupational socialization’s professional deviance by a term I refer to as “Detrimental Homogenetic Entitlement.”

The term reflects a deviant culture dominated by:

  1. A select group of similar characteristics,

  2. Alpha characters operating behind a veil of secrecy,

  3. Who inject force or intimidation as a resource for securing the desired outcomes of the cohesive group.

There is a negative outcome associated with operating within this culture of assumed entitlement as the select individuals become vulnerable to personal and professional damages.

The subculture (Weinstein’s company) within the bigger operating group (Movie Industry) fosters this homogenous membership of alphas, who by the covert nature of their position or power are allowed extending degrees of latitude.

This curiosity created by the secreting mystique of deviant subcultures lends itself to an environment non-conducive to traditional core values of duty, honor, and service.

The detrimental aspect of this term is directed to the offender, such as Weinstein, who may suffer great personal and professional expense by participation in the hedonistic subculture once exposed.

We are currently witnessing this as his power position, wealth and influence among the very group who “perpetuated” his behavior has ostracized him.

I have illustrated this to link the connection between Harvey Weinstein to other subcultures guided by the same principles of groupthink cohesion and hegemonic masculinity.

I mentioned priests, police, prostitutes and Penn State as more examples of similar subcultures, which when applied to this theory, demonstrates the applicability of the general principles of detrimental homogenetic entitlement to more than only Harvey Weinstein.

Why?

The question begs to be asked; “Why does Harvey Weinstein get to openly participate in deviant activities?”  Because he can.

Hollywood’s society submits to this sexual assault as long as:

  1. It is not too severely dispensed;

  2. Not exposed through media; or,

  3. Not used against someone closely associated to them.

Because of external forces such as peer clustering influence, and internal predispositions or expectations, the shades to which someone like Harvey Weinstein is becomes deviant are dependent upon various factors.

The expectation is that the subculture’s insiders and participants do possesses the ability to prevent or limit the powerful seduction of the draw to engage in professional deviance. Most choose not too.

Harvey Weinstein Uncovered

My theories, initially explored for law enforcement’s culture and expanded to include other powerful groups with a high potential for the slide into secreted subcultures now includes Hollywood.

The case of Harvey Weinstein has unfolded as expected according to my understanding of how things can get so dark and dirty despite so many others in the room.

Harvey Weinstein, like so many others afflicted with his position and opportunity has operated freely and without consequence for years. Be sure, others always know about the behavior – Always.

Although he has hurt others, those with authority or opportunity to intervene on behalf of the victims chose to guard their own privilege by remaining silent, and therefore contributing to the continuation of Weinstein’s abuses.

As my theory has proven so many times across so many disciplines, no matter how protected or insulated the offender may assume, there is always the glimmer of hope that justice will prevail.

In his case, even with the protections of his power-broker peer group, mass media spinning NBC and the influential New York Times, exposure was immenint.

Condemnations of Hypocrisy

Harvey Weinstein was not ousted by his peers because some brave soul persisted. His Hollywood “hang abouts” normalized his behavior because as long as Harvey was happy, they were happy.

Listening to the interviews and reading the comments from celebrities and politicians is nothing more than an exercise of who can think of the next adjective to feign objection over their overlord’s exposure.

“The Pharisee stood and was praying this to himself: ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector.

Luke 18:11

Look again at why Harvey Weinstein was exposed according to my theory of Detrimental Homogenetic Entitlement. He existed because others allowed him to exist. Those spouting off condemnation have as much liability for the deviance of an industry as did Harvey Weinstein.

Hollywood’s society submits to this sexual assault as long as:

  1. It is not too severely dispensed;

  2. Not exposed through media; or,

  3. Not used against someone closely associated to them.

Easy Way

It’s easy to mull along with the sheep when life is going good for you. But when one cries out because the wolf has them by the throat, what will you do?

About Dr. Scott Silverii

Christ follower, husband, dad, author and retired chief of police discovering the amazing side of a servant's life.