Hollywood Ending: Harvey Weinstein and the Culture of Silence

According to Ken Auletta's riveting, if occasionally stomach-turning Hollywood Ending: Harvey Weinstein and the Culture of Silence, the earliest sexual assault accusations against the now-disgraced film producer date back to the mid-1970s; this was just before the Queens, N.Y.-raised college dropout and his brother, Bob, formed Miramax, a company dedicated to championing independent films. Weinstein had been up to no good for decades by the time he went down in 2017 amid a hail of accusations. As Auletta (Googled: The End of the World as We Know It) puts it, "Harvey did not have enough fingers to plug all the holes that had opened in the dam that long protected him."

Why did it take four decades to stop Weinstein? To what extent was he emboldened by the long silence of his accusers and enablers? Was he driven by sex addiction, sociopathy or sadism? In search of answers, Auletta conducted several hundred interviews (some on the condition of anonymity), including with his subject, via e-mails that Weinstein dictated from jail. (In 2020, Weinstein was convicted of two of the five counts of sexual assault brought against him.)

Even readers who followed the Weinstein story will be entranced by the cat-and-mouse game at the biography's center and the courtroom drama that fills its last fourth. Hollywood Ending, proceeding at a potboiler's pulse-quickening pace, is by turns a probing biographical portrait, a squirm-making true crime story, a searing exposé and an indictment of the complacency and cowardice that aided and abetted a monster. --Nell Beram, author and freelance writer

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