I swear to GOD, I like to write about other shit too. But dammit all to hell if the motherfucking hits just keep on rolling.
Scott Rosenberg's... apology? If we're calling it that?
Take a moment. Read it. Let it wash over you. Then take a shower and pour a scotch. I'll wait.
I know this is old news.
I saw it the day it came out.
I skimmed it.
I rolled my eyes.
I moved on.
But I revisited it today, and you know what?
No. Nope. No.
Is this another next-level rage stroke? I wouldn't call it that. I'd say it's more of a cold-blooded, out-of-body verbal thrashing.
About this, Scott.
You just served me a plate of human shit and now you're standing here, waiting for me to eat it and say wow, thank you for shitting on my plate, Scott. I can tell you really worked to get this one out. This is a carefully crafted piece of writing that is designed to make us feel obligated to say good job, Scott. We forgive you, Scott. We understand, Scott! No, Scott. Bad job, Scott. Don't forgive you, Scott.
But oh, we understand, Scott.
I understand it was so fun to party with Harvey! FUN IS SO FUN! GLAD YOU HAD SO MUCH OF THE FUNNEST FUN, BRO! Your word painting of OG Miramax sounds exactly like the frat parties every girl at school knew not to attend. Which would be fine. Except women fucking worked there. They had to go get their paychecks there. They were there doing the SAME thing YOU were — chasing dreams, trying to win the lottery and get their moment in the sun. Instead they got their moment in the corner, and the next day they had to come right back, or get fired, or lose their shot. And as you said, you were right fucking there, Scott.
I understand that you are working overtime to make sure we all understand why turning the lights on at THIS PARTICULAR PARTY would have been, like, so lame. I understand that you assume we can all get behind the idea that your lameness would simply be totally fucking unacceptable.
I understand you wanted personal fame and success more than you cared about anything else, including whether you were making deals with the actual fucking devil. BTW, if your career cools here, I understand that North Korea has a booming film industry, as long as you don't care about whether your actors have been kidnapped. Doesn't seem like working alongside human beings trapped in coercive and abusive environments will bother you one teensy bit though, pumpkin, and the money is decent I hear, even if the portions are small. You might put a call in.
I understand that you called yourself pathetic in order to preempt accusations that your excuses are, in fact, pathetic. Good effort there, Scott, but no dice. Ready? Here we go. Your excuses — "What should I have done? Did you want me to call the pretend Attorney General of Hollywood? THERE WAS NO INTERNET THEN!" — are the most paltry, whining, pitiful garbage excuses I have ever heard in my life. What should you have done? ANYTHING. FUCKING ANY. THING. You could have asked a woman about it. "Hey, did anything happen last night? Are you okay?" You could have talked about it. "Listen, I know he holds all the cards here but don't go to Harvey's room alone." What could you have done? You could have given one single hamster pellet of a shit.
(Side note: You also could have refrained from cracking a snarky joke about how ABSURD it would have been for you to reach out to law enforcement, which is what you did when you invented a quippy and imaginary guardian of the law in your self-important overly-written "apology."
Sure, sure, my female friends told me that he was a predator and that he'd actually assaulted and harassed them. But what, was I supposed to call the... the... the Grand Vice Butt-Whumpus of Encino? I mean, come on. Don't be ridiculous, ladies. Calm down.)
I understand exactly what this fucking poem is about, Scott. It's about absolving yourself of own guilt for things YOU KNOW YOU DID in the past — but dang, they're in the past now, and are therefore "regrettable" but unchangeable, so shoot, shucks, if they happened again YOU WOULD DEFINITELY DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.
I understand that you're like the guy who poured shots for the troops, hid in the basement while the battle raged, and once his side lost he turned his shirt inside out, ran onto the field, and said, "Oh no! Did I miss the battle? Shit. Next one. Next one."
I understand that you chose the self-flagellating language both as self-defense so nobody yells at you because you've already yelled at yourself, and also to communicate to us how deeply, beautifully, articulately fucking AWARE you are of how POETICALLY AWFUL YOU ARE. Your apology would mean more if I didn't get the sense that you wrote it while gazing contemplatively into the sea while wearing linen pants and refreshing TMZ every 10 seconds to find out exactly what everyone knows at this point. With a bourbon in a $275 glass. And sunglasses dark enough to demonstrate that you're staring into the abyss, should any photogs pop by. And as soon as you were done you started making notes for a new script called "The Sorry Man."
I understand when I'm watching a performance.
I understand that you have the fucking gall to describe your last conversation with Harvey as "... the condemned man simply wanting to comb some of the ruins of his old stomping grounds." No, Scott. HERE is where the slither meets the slime. Even now that you've heard everything that's been revealed about him, and you claim to have remorse and respect for all the women you list in this garbage monologue, you STILL have the nerve to paint him as some romantic Heathcliff meets The Old Man and the Sea, a "wistful" patriarch fallen from glory, lost in memories, craving a connection with you, his old friend, before he marches forth — with "melancholy" no less — to meet the fate that will surely have them weeping into their popcorn.
Fuck you, truly, deeply, and with all my heart. That conversation was the last flailing swipe of a desperate predator who knew the curtain was about to be yanked open and expose his decades of indefensible crimes, simply wanting to know who his friends were, whose silence he could still buy with the promise of a movie. He's not motherfucking Jean Valjean, Scott. He's the Master of the House, and you're one of the rats who swims in his current through the sewers.
I understand that you're hoping for a shout-out for pointing the finger at other guilty parties. Yeah, let's definitely get a slow clap started for Scott. You really put yourself on the line there when you exploded the Internet with mind-blowing confirmation of the top-secret news that Harvey partied with ACTORS (gasp!) and PRODUCERS (faint!) and ROCK STARS (surely not, no!). You might not have been listening when I said, earlier, that I understand when I'm watching a fucking performance. This is a performance of accusation. This is a guy in the room sweating under pressure, admitting that he saw someone...wearing... JEANS. Yeah, definitely jeans. Blue ones. Sure, you'll point the finger at the guy they've already collared, but you're not about to snitch on your boys. Not really. That would just be so unfair to them. That would definitely have consequences for them, and you.
I understand that there was never any fucking way you were going to do a goddamn thing that would cost you ANYTHING you wanted for yourself. Including your rep as a Class A Secret Keeper and Stooge. Is "Looks the other way" on your resume under Special Skills?
I understand that you had a microphone and an audience and enough social power to command an audience for DECADES, and said nothing. But now that the women have come forward (as if they hadn't come forward until now) (as if lawsuits hadn't been brought) (as if nobody ever said anything to the press), now that Harvey fucking Weinstein is no longer introducing you to Al Gore, you have no problem turning on him. You risked nothing, you scrap of a human. You sacrificed nothing.
I understand that you have done nothing for the women whose careers were hampered or ended, who were hurt and terrorized and violated. What's that? Oh, you wrote this...thing. I see.
I understand that this is your big fucking gesture of apology to the women whose lives were made smaller by this violent bully. To say you're sorry, you describe in lurid gleeful detail with no less than sixteen exclamation points how YOU benefited from the doors he opened for you, and how YOU enjoyed the power that he wielded on your behalf, and how IT WAS A BLAST. FOR YOU. What a comfort that must be for the women who wanted that same access, those same opportunities and experiences, and had to pay with their bodies for them. Oh, how they'll thank you for reminding them that you didn't have to choose between your safety and your success. GREAT APOLOGY SCOTT. IT WAS DEFINITELY NOT ALL ABOUT YOU.
I understand that you penned a patronizingly overwritten confession of what you saw HARVEY (and a bunch of other men whose names you won't mention because you're cool, bros before moral codes, right?) do, COINCIDENTALLY at the exact moment that it will cost you LITERALLY NOTHING. You waited, you cheap coward, until there was nothing you could lose. And then you stepped into the spotlight, stammered, "OH, I... I didn't even prepare anything..." and whipped out your scroll as the house orchestra shuffled around the sheet music you'd distributed in rehearsal.
I understand you were a "broke-ass kid from Boston" who suddenly had access to money, celebrity, luxurious comfort, and limitless personal power. I understand you've spent a lot of time and energy in the mental gymnastics studio, trying to put together the puzzle of Scott Rosenberg, super nice and humble guy with a good vocabulary and a medically baffling absence of spine, who lost his way, was seduced by a charismatic melancholy genius with a lurid sex habit, only to one day, much later, after everybody knew everything already, he finds redemption in the form of an internet letter retelling everything everybody already fucking knows, only with more line breaks.
The puzzle isn't matching up. It's because you're missing one piece. The biggest one. It's the one where you are still fucking up because you still care 100% about looking good and 0% about doing good.
Bad job, Scott.
Don't forgive you, Scott.
Do you understand?
This post originally appeared on katykatikate.com and is reprinted here with permission.
Top photo: Wikimedia Commons/BrokenSphere
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Katie Anthony writes about feminism, scotch, parenting, small daily victories, and 90's pop culture references at www.KatyKatiKate.com. She is also the author of Feminist Werewolf, available now as an ebook on Amazon.com. 100% of the proceeds of Feminist Werewolf sales are donated to RAINN and Sisters of Color Ending Sexual Assault. Follow her on Patreon www.patreon.com/KatyKatiKate, and Facebook at www.facebook.com/KatyKatiKate, and on Twitter @yokatykatikate.