The disgraced film producer is a character straight out of Philip Roth, playing out his revenge fantasies on the Goyim
By Mark Oppenheimer | 9 October 2017
Editor’s note: Since its publication, an apology has been issued about this piece.
TABLET — At first squint, Harvey Weinstein seems like a very familiar type. Isn’t he the old, same old, another rich, entitled, powerful man with a bad dye job abusing his might to coerce women into sex? Isn’t Harvey just like Roger Ailes, or Bill O’Reilly, or, for that matter, Bill Clinton? But look at the details of the case and you’ll see that the answer is no. Harvey is different. Harvey, sadly, is a deeply Jewish kind of pervert.
As despicable as you may find Ailes, O’Reilly, and the other grabby goyim, you’ll recognize their behavior fits a pattern as old as time itself, as trite as Fox’s complaints about the “war on Christmas”: Men crave sex, and the worst of them will obtain it by whatever means necessary. These despicable gents have power and influence, and they aren’t above promising a lucrative gig—or threatening to take it away—to get laid. In these transactions, women are nothing but objects, and any “consent” is just an illusion. Morally, the men are no better than the pimps who crowd into James Franco’s character’s bar on The Deuce, the new HBO show; psychologically, they are no more complex than the johns. Cash in, cum out. The women are collateral damage.
Harvey did something unique—no less odious, but different. Harvey performed. As we now are hearing (whether we want to or not), he allegedly made a woman watch as he masturbated into a potted plant. And if you want to understand this bizarre behavior, don’t look to Roger Ailes, or David Vitter, or Paul Crouch—look to Philip Roth.
Better than perhaps any other author, Roth captured the particular anxiety of the Jewish American man in the twentieth century, finally coming into power but, having not grown up with it, unsure of what he’s supposed to do now. All those years craving unattainable Gentiles, but never before the means to entice them. The result is Alexander Portnoy of Portnoy’s Complaint, a grown man whose emotional and sexual life is still all one big performance piece, just as it had been when he was a teenager and pleasured himself with a piece of liver.
As a boy, Portnoy fantasized about attaining a mythical shiksa goddess whom he nicknamed Thereal McCoy (get it?), who ice-skates “in her blue parka and her red earmuffs and her big white mittens—Miss America, on blades! With her mistletoe and her plum pudding (whatever that may be),” but as a grown-up he graduates to the real woman he nicknames The Monkey. And what does he do to abase her? He has her perform with an Italian whore. Yes, he eventually joins in, but not before they enact a bad movie — not Hollywood, but San Fernando Valley triple-X. And his nickname for her, The Monkey? That comes from an episode in her life, from before Portnoy met her, when a couple swingers picked her up and wanted her to eat a banana while she watched them copulate. For having a past that gets him hot, she gets degraded with an animalistic nickname. Her history as an actor is what he wants her for. […]