Media: Please Stop Showing Pictures of Harvey Weinstein Smiling with His Young Victims

Dear The New York Times, The Hollywood Reporter, Village Voice, New York Daily News, Los Angeles Times, Slate, People Magazine, E! News, and probably every other news outlet in the world:

On behalf of most ladies, we appreciate that you are taking seriously the Harvey Weinstein-is-a-predator story and exploring it from every angle.

So which of your editors decides that the best thumbnail photo for an article called “Rose McGowan claims Harvey Weinstein raped her, calls out Amazon head Jeff Bezos” is a picture of Weinstein and a young McGowan arm and arm, smiling? How many different levels of editors had approval over using a clickbait photo of Gwenyth Paltrow smiling in Weinstein’s arms, holding an Oscar, for an article called “Gwyneth Paltrow Claims She Was Sexually Harassed by Harvey Weinstein at Age 22: I Was Expected to Keep the Secret.” How many of your staff members do you use to hunt down pictures of Renee Zelwegger with her hand touching Weinstein’s leg? Who thought the picture of him sitting closely with half of Taylor Swift’s squad would help?

I can’t imagine what y’all are thinking. I will tell you what women think when we see these pictures:

  • Did he rape her before or after this photo was taken?
  • Did he have his hand on that uncomfortable part of her lower spine men love to touch?
  • How much did she have to have to drink to get through this picture?
  • Was she still telling herself it didn’t really happen?
  • I feel triggered. Make it stop.
  • Shit, this is going to be used by those trolls who say that she liked it or was trying to get ahead.
  • Oh for god sakes… I hate life and everyone in it.

First, let me give you some better options for pictures you can use instead going forward for all articles about Harvey Weinstein:

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Harvey Weinstein, all by his loathsome lonesome self.
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Weinstein and his key enabler, the other monster.
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A grown woman, bravely speaking out.
Another brave woman, living her best life, against the odds.
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How this really goes down for us.
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I’m very tired. This Weinstein story pushed a lot of buttons for me, as someone who has dealt with several psychotic men with power. I’m talking about in 2017 alone.

I’ve spent the last week participating in the dialogue and trying to explain to men why their “hot takes” on this saga are more of the same old sexism. It’s exhausting. I guess I care about opening minds and/or winning at debates more than I care about self-care.

So once more, to the battlefield:

Media, your articles are okay, even somewhat helpful. Some of the pictures you chose as header and thumbnail images are more of the same old sexism. Please stop.

Written by

Crime, politics, culture, personal essays, humor (but I’m sad). Twitter: @jewstein3000.

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