Amanda Palmer and Welsh songwriter Jasmine Power have released a powerful video for their protest song, ‘Mr. Weinstein Will See You Now’, one year on since the New York Times exposed Harvey Weinstein’s alleged pattern of sexual assault.
The song was originally released in May as a response to Weinstein’s apparent crimes and the#MeToo movement. The profits from the song were donated to #TimesUp.
An all-woman crew, cast and production team worked on the video, which includes scenes of full nudity. The production was paid for through crowdfunding and many of the performers were discovered via Palmer’s online fanbase.
Watch the video for ‘Mr. Weinstein Will See You Now’ below:
Palmer described the experience in a press release: “For an entire day, a congregation of women worked together to create a collective battle-cry response to this moment in time.
“Working on this project fundamentally changed me inside. The act of running, sweating, laughing and filming with this group of powerful, determined, and shamelessly naked women was a stark reminder of what we are capable of doing when we join forces, roll up our sleeves, take off our masks, and create.”
Director Noemie LaFrance explained the difficulty in depicting such a difficult topic as sexual assault in a music video, “How does one talk about rape, or even harder, illustrate it in a music video? It is too painful of a subject, and in many ways a taboo subject. What inspired me about the song is that it dared talking about rape in all of its different shades of grey.”
She pointed to the line ‘Just turn me over fast and just get this over with’ as an example of the “fine lines of coercion”.
“I felt that in the context of the Weinstein story it encapsulated the real sadness in this for all parties. I wanted the video to reflect that and be about the sadness, rather than the atrocity.”
Palmer has been a keen proponent of crowdfunding for years and she used donations through the crowdfunding platform patreon.com to create both the song and the video.
“The fact that this video was essentially crowdfunded through my Patreon is no coincidence,” said Palmer. “Female artists are grabbing back creative control by going straight to the people who want to hear their stories and voices. My old major label would have never, EVER signed onto this idea.
“I can just imagine going into their offices and saying ‘Hey, I want to make a strange, operatic duet about sexual assault and just release it to the Internet next week, for free to the public. Oh and the video – which will also make no profit and be totally unplayable on most channels because it’ll be nude and graphic – will cost about $40k that you’ll never see again.’ They would have laughed me out of the room.
That is why crowdfunding and patronage are becoming so insanely powerful right now: feminist art and expressions like this are essential, and cannot be about making a profit. They’re about making powerful statements, right now, without having to think about ‘selling art’ within a toxic and corrosive marketplace.”