Wealth as a stand-alone, at least in America, doesn't buy what it used to. There have been too many members for too long in the 1%.
So, the question already in the media is: Can Harvey Weinstein return to a position of power and influence? The buzzword for that is "presence."
Those reflecting on this weighty matter (so many involved in alleged sex scandals, ranging from Roscoe Arbuckle to Weinstein have been a roly-poly) note that comeback is indeed possible.
They cite Arnold Schwarzenegger and Woody Allen. They played their crisis communications cards carefully and were back in the big time.
Former Fox News media genius Roger Ailes died before he could put in play a strategy. At one time his personal public relations representative had been Manhattan's Bob Dilenschneider.
Some of us wondered why Ailes hadn't been warned by PR experts to not exit the New York Metro area. The Florida re-location seemed to be flight-in-a-panic versus a lay-low tactic. Allen laid low. But remained a Manhattan presence. Even Manhattan-based nobody ghostwriters, for decades, had been hammered to remain in The City post a firing or lay off by a corporation or brandname client.
So, how could Weinstein engineer a comeback? There are no absolutes on reputation restoration. But, here are 6 smart moves:
- Settle, with confidential agreements, civil lawsuits. As every lawyer will advise him, that is not an admission of guilt. It's only a platform for starting over, without the ordeal of litigation.
- Get a top criminal lawyer for any criminal matters. But comebacks aren't impossible after being a guest of the state. Watergate lawyer Colin Colson made it big again after getting religion in the slammer.
- Admit some emotional difficulties such as compulsive tendencies. But don't stay in that box. And sin no more. Anthony Weiner could have pulled off being elected mayor had he not been caught "doing it again." The "it" was sexting. Weinstein cannot give in to impulse, ever again.
- Proceed from a position of strength. Have top publicists promote new films and other creative projects. Be seen with the A-list.
- Re-marry. That woman will be a symbol of Weinstein's successful recovery.
- Do good. Be hands-on in an initiative to help creatives in the hood start on their career journey.
Eventually, there could even be empathy for Weinstein. In this volatile era it's not only easier to fall from grace. The odds are also greater that the media will run with it. So?
What is relevant is no longer the scandal. It's being very very smart about re-establishing presence.
A useful read about the importance of presence is Amy Cuddy's "Presence." Here it can ordered from Amazon.
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