Why did they protect anyone for so long?
The soul-searching I experienced as a member of the entertainment industry went something like this:
1) "What the fuck are you guys acting so surprised about? It's Harvey Fucking Weinstein. Everybody has a story about what a sleazy scumbag he is."
2) "But wait. You guys are in the right and we're in the wrong. He's a sleazy scumbag and everybody knew it and we just fuckin' rolled with it."
3) "Of course we did because we like to eat."
4) "Which does not excuse us all from being part of the problem."
5) "Shit. How far have we fallen."
Not to make light of it, but
And the thing is? If you're not in a position of power you can take a stand but you'll be forgotten by noon and out of work forever and in space no one can hear you scream. And if you are in a position of power then anyone in a position of more power will kick you on the way down.
And the person in a position of more power, for the past 20 years, has been Harvey Fucking Weinstein.
Why did they protect him for so long? The same reason NBC buried the Weinstein story Ronan Farrow got a Pulitzer for: if they picked the scab they'd die of hemophilia. If Roman Polanski then gawd knows who else.