The Weinstein Googledoc begins with a movie mogul exposing himself to an intern at a hotel door and it ends with an aspiring actress being blacklisted for her refusal to attend a “private dinner”. Sandwiched between these two disturbing bookends is a dizzying array of accusations, spanning decades of alleged harassment, abuse and rape. 102 women and counting – almost double the number we’ve already compiled here at The Pool (a document we’ve been updating since it was published three weeks ago – and will continue to do so.)
The Harvey Weinstein scandal is expanding each day – and it’s taking us all into uncharted territory. Who could’ve predicted that a word processor, spreadsheet and slideshow presentation program could be used as a tool to log sexual abuse allegations - as opposed to, let’s say, diarise workplace conferences – in 2017?
This week, that’s exactly what happened.
Yesterday, Weinstein-accuser-in-exile Asia Argento (Argento was forced to flee her home country of Italy after she faced a backlash over her claims against the mogul) released a list of over 100 women who have accused Weinstein of similar behaviour. This banding of women has been presented to the public via an everyday Googlesheet, detailing his harassments chronologically. As you scroll through the document specific Weinstein’s alleged “actions” are highlighted (rape is blue), as are any cases that were reported (pink). Names, ages, vocations and years are all logged, too.
There is strength in numbers – as every woman who has agreed to collaborate with Argento on this spreadsheet knows all too well
Speaking as a reader who has absorbed and analysed every personal account that has been published so far, scrolling through this spreadsheet this morning has been an overwhelming experience. We are all now jurors, pouring over an exhaustive register of one man’s lifelong commitment to unconsenting hotel room grabs in a bathrobe. There is power in its meticulousness – and the ordinariness of the platform used. Somehow, by reading this clinical spreadsheet - void of editorial - the horrific magnitude of this evolving story strikes at the heart of things.
There is strength in numbers – as every woman who has agreed to collaborate with Argento on this spreadsheet knows all too well. Perhaps, because of this, a Googledoc is the best armour they have to protect themselves against those who seek to undermine their stories.
As more and more women stand up, speak up, and say “me too,” the demand for justice to be served in a court, not an addiction clinic is intensifying. This week, CNBC reported that Manhattan's district attorney is on the verge of seeking Weinstein's indictment before a grand jury. Are things moving forward? It depends on which angle you take.
This Googledoc will undoubtedly advance the case against Weinstein, but it has taken the bravery of 100 women to keep the momentum going. Even now, the onus is still on women – the accusers – to unite as a collective force in order to clean up the mess. And all this, despite the fact that their demand for justice has come at great personal cost. Take Argento, for instance: she no longer feels welcome in her country of birth.
It shouldn’t have to be this way.