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Mon Oct 9, 2017, 09:00 AM

Jerry Lee Lewis redux

Here we go again with the age-old question of the unfit priest. Is the money Harvey Weinstein donated *to a good cause* tainted because he is a dreadful human being?

The notion of accepting money from a known sexual predator is revolting, and had his history of abusing women been known before Democrats accepted his financial support, of course his donations should have been refused.

But the money was accepted in all innocence--afaik, no one in our party was privy to his secret life--and therefore I don't think we ought to be returning it.

Can an evil person perform good deeds? Are the deeds less admirable because the doer is a horrible human being? Does his character make his good works less beneficial? No, sez I.

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Arrow 9 replies Author Time Post
Reply Jerry Lee Lewis redux (Original post)
cyclonefence Oct 2017 OP
Blue_true Oct 2017 #1
Javaman Oct 2017 #2
cyclonefence Oct 2017 #3
Javaman Oct 2017 #9
Wounded Bear Oct 2017 #4
cyclonefence Oct 2017 #5
panader0 Oct 2017 #6
cyclonefence Oct 2017 #7
Orrex Oct 2017 #8

Response to cyclonefence (Original post)

Mon Oct 9, 2017, 09:55 AM

1. His case is why we need taxpayer funded elections.

And disallow all other forms of money.

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Response to cyclonefence (Original post)

Mon Oct 9, 2017, 10:22 AM

2. here's my two cents...

having worked in the film industry in my primordial days, i was part of the "indie revolution" that took place during the hay day of the weinstein years.

it had been well known that he was a colossal creep.

but as poor filmmakers trying to get a film sold, you had to dance with the devil

that said, many people "above the line" knew full well of harvey and his actions. I think the various people who took his donations know full well about him but because he was a "mover and a shaker" and had influence, they took his money.

does that make it still "tainted"? yup. should those who took the money give it back? that's up to them.

happily, I have never worked on nor had a film that required me to dance with that devil, but would I have taken his money as a very poor filmmaker? damn straight.

when you are desperate to make it in hollywood, you will be surprised at the things you will do to compromise your integrity.

we all would like to think that we wouldn't but when you have investors breathing down your throat to sell a movie their money is tied to, you have to take any deal you can.

just the facts of life.

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Response to Javaman (Reply #2)

Mon Oct 9, 2017, 11:38 AM

3. Thanks for the background

IMO, if the recipients knew what he was up to, they should have refused his donations at the time he offered them. If they didn't, then I don't think they should feel compelled to return the money.

To argue ad absurdum: If John Wayne Gacy donated millions to the ASPCA, is that money--which would be saving animals' lives--be returned once he was convicted of murder? I don't feel that that money would be tainted. The good it would do has nothing to do with his nefarious character or his crimes.

If the money Harvey Weinstein donated were used to protect abortion rights, would it still be tainted?

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Response to cyclonefence (Reply #3)

Mon Oct 9, 2017, 01:29 PM

9. it's a good thought experiment...

but during my time in the hollywood beast, I learned rather quickly that ego, power and influence trump all.

if you can get your movie financed, even the most noble will get tainted by the promise of money regardless if the source.

I can tell you how many times, I worked on truly horrible low budget movies to get the experience needed to get into the union, only later to find out the movies were financed by the mafia.

and in regards to your abortion question, if the money was used for good rather than evil, well, as a friend once told me, "all money spends the same way".

Take that as you will but there is a grain of truth to it.

working in hollywood makes people, myself included, very cynical about how the world works. I guess you could say it was my first real education in politics.

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Response to cyclonefence (Original post)

Mon Oct 9, 2017, 11:45 AM

4. Corrolary...

Y'know, I watch documentaries and nature channel shows all the time, and all too often one name shows up in the credits as donors. Guess what that name is....Koch. Yep, one of the Koch brothers-I think it is David-has a history going back several decades of donating to Nat Geo and other documentaries that could be construed as non-Repub in their motives.

Now it is quite possible that these types of contributions are made by some foundation that he doesn't have direct control over, but still.

Doesn't mean he's a nice guy.

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Response to Wounded Bear (Reply #4)

Mon Oct 9, 2017, 12:15 PM

5. Good example

We know he's evil, but...

He's also friends with Neil DeGrasse Tyson.

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Response to cyclonefence (Original post)

Mon Oct 9, 2017, 12:24 PM

6. I don't get the Jerry Lee Lewis comparison.

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Response to panader0 (Reply #6)

Mon Oct 9, 2017, 12:28 PM

7. Somebody posted a week or so ago

about feeling conflicted because the poster liked JLL's music so much but hated his behavior perhaps even more. I replied referring to the medieval conflict over the unfit priest--are the sacraments performed by a sinful priest efficacious, or are they tainted by the performer's unworthiness? I think this concern applies throughout history, including today, when someone who makes or does something wonderful and beneficial is personally reprehensible. Is the work tainted by the artist's unworthiness?

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Response to panader0 (Reply #6)

Mon Oct 9, 2017, 12:34 PM

8. There was a discussion last week about good art coming from bad people

To wit, Jerry Lee Lewis the legendary musician versus Jerry Lee Lewis the rather reprehensible character.

In the current context, we are discussing the value of Weinstein's contributions to film while he himself is a vile, abusive pig.

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