Titled “Casting Couch,” the eerie piece of street art was the closest the film producer ever came to having a star on the famed tourist attraction in the heart of Tinseltown – perhaps surprising, given his outsize influence on the industry.
But as the Miramax co-founder’s sex assault trial continues this week – more than two years after bombshell reports brought dozens of allegations to the public eye – the Walk of Fame offers an avenue to explore the resulting reckoning that detonated Hollywood’s once-immutable power structure.
“I’m sure there are a lot of harassers and abusers on that Walk of Fame,” said Melissa Silverstein, founder and publisher of the site Women and Hollywood.
Weinstein denies all accusations of nonconsensual sex and is pleading not guilty at the trial.
But since the saga erupted in October of 2017 and left his career in shambles, hundreds have been accused of abuse-of-power-related sexual misconduct. The ensuing #MeToo movement – created by advocate Tarana Burke and further ignited after a tweet from actress Alyssa Milano went viral a few days after the story broke – has dimmed many a star on the Walk of Fame.
The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce – the arbiter for who does and doesn’t get a star – has steadfastly resisted efforts to remove any from the 15-block Walk, arguing that the nearly 2,700 trod-upon brass-and-terrazzo pentagrams are historic monuments that should not be tampered with.
But a chamber spokeswoman said the #MeToo shakeup has altered her organization’s calculus for determining how to responsibly whittle the annual pool of about 300 nominees to 25 or so recipients.