Magazine article The New Yorker

Cartoon Harvey

Magazine article The New Yorker

Cartoon Harvey

Article excerpt

Cartoon Harvey

Harvey Weinstein

In the weeks since the revelations about Harvey Weinstein's sexual predations, stories about the former Miramax chief have placed him in numerous shower stalls, a town car, various hotel suites, and a restaurant kitchen. But no one expected to find him lurking in a children's cartoon. In 2005, Weinstein made a cameo appearance as himself in an animated feature film, starring Lindsay Lohan, called "My Scene Goes Hollywood." The movie, part of the Barbie franchise, was distributed by Miramax's family division and produced by Mattel, which was trying to lure back the tweens who were ditching their Barbies for a line of sexy competitor dolls called Bratz.

To keep up, Mattel produced an edgy line of dolls called My Scene. Barbie became a night-clubbing New York high schooler, with a multiethnic girl posse named after Manhattan locales: Madison, Chelsea, Delancey, Nolee (for Nolita). An animated Web series followed, with echoes of "Sex and the City" and the Gossip Girl books. Parents watched uneasily as their eleven-year-olds grooved to the My Scene theme song: "We're going out tonight / This scene is outta sight!" After years of stagnation, Mattel's share price turned around.

"My Scene Goes Hollywood," which was released on DVD, was My Scene's cultural apotheosis. It's a friendship morality tale (Barbie and pals are cast as extras in a Lindsay Lohan movie; Madison falls for the caddish male lead, and ditches her friends). Weinstein shows up on set in the film-within-a-film. As the director yells "Cut," an imposing show-business dude--Weinstein--hovers with a proprietary air: sunglasses, dark suit, turtleneck, hands in pockets. The dude, in Weinstein's voice, says, "Picture looks great, Jim. I'm really excited about it." The My Scene girls, dressed in school uniforms, recognize him and squeal.

Nolee (gasps): Talking to Jim--that's Harvey Weinstein!

CHELSEA: Who?

Nolee: Don't you ever watch awards shows? He's, like, the biggest producer in Hollywood.

Cartoon Weinstein then approaches Madison. "Good job, young lady!" he says, placing a hand on her back.

"Thanks!" Madison responds.

Nolee groans: "Perfect. Now she'll have an even bigger head."

Many of the accounts of Weinstein's predatory behavior have cast him as an ogre-like beast among a raft of beauties. Last week, a parent of a former My Scene devotee found himself recalling the discomfort he felt about Weinstein's jarring appearance in the movie. …

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