One of the most shocking elements of the Harvey Weinstein story that is continuously unfolding this week is that his alleged abuses had been staring everyone in the face for years.
Right after tweeting the New Yorker exposé, the writer-director shared a scene from her 2000 movie Scarlet Diva, which she also starred in and which sees a portly director in a dressing gown pleading with protagonist Anna to give him a massage in his hotel room. Anna reluctantly agrees and is later pounced on by the producer after he suggests she “suck his balls”.
The New Yorker detailed a similar situation Argento found herself in:
‘Argento said that, after she reluctantly agreed to give Weinstein a massage, he pulled her skirt up, forced her legs apart, and performed oral sex on her as she repeatedly told him to stop. Weinstein “terrified me, and he was so big,” she said. “It wouldn’t stop. It was a nightmare.”‘
The director also noted that Weinstein appeared to recognise the parallel after seeing the movie:
‘Weinstein, according to Argento, saw the film after it was released in the U.S., and apparently recognized himself. “Ha, ha, very funny,” Argento remembered him saying to her. But he also said that he was “sorry for whatever happened.” The movie’s most significant departure from the real-life incident, Argento told me, was how the hotel-room scene ended. “In the movie I wrote,” she said, “I ran away.”‘
Before the first story about Weinstein came out, the producer said “[it] sounds so good I want to buy the movie rights.”
Turnings his words back on him, another alleged victim, Rose McGowan, tweeted: “I want to but the movie rights,” to which Argento, apparently referencing Scarlet Diva, replied: “I own the movie rights.”