“The lady doth protest too much, methinks.” – Queen Gertrude, Hamlet

Movie mogul Harvey Weinstein was an outspoken and philanthropic champion of women’s causes. Behind the scenes, he’s alleged to have assaulted and made unwanted and explicit sexual advances towards dozens of actresses and employees whose careers he could make or break.

Not only that, the powerful producer’s casting couch escapades were the worst kept secret in Hollywood. After reading the five nominations for supporting actress at the 2013 Oscars, Seth McFarlane joked, “Congratulations, you five ladies no longer have to pretend to be attracted to Harvey Weinstein.”

Of course, now that he’s been fired and publicly disgraced, it’s safe for the Hollywood elite to come out of the woodwork and condemn the acts of a man they one hailed as a God. A man whose ass they kissed for three decades. Hypocrisy.

A new study published by Cambridge researchers in Science Direct found that the environmental footprints and behavior of 300 conservationists were not materially better than those of a control group of 434 economists and medics. The scientists concluded that pro-environmental knowledge and activism had little impact on behavior. Hypocrisy.

The Silicon Valley elite give more lip service to diversity than the rest of the corporate world combined. Not only have those initiatives failed to improve the percentage of underrepresented groups in the workforce of tech companies, some of the biggest whiners ended up getting caught in their own duplicitous webs.

After having a complete meltdown on stage at a conference in Lisbon – dropping F-bombs for a full minute following the election of Donald Trump — 500 Startups founder Dave McClure was forced out of the company over sexual harassment and assault claims by numerous women seeking jobs and funding. Hypocrisy.

Engineer James Damore called out Google’s diversity and inclusion policies as “discriminatory,” “unfair” and “divisive,” blasting the company’s “politically correct” and “left-leaning” culture as unaccepting of anyone outside its “ideological echo chamber.” What did the search giant do? Fired him. So much for a supposedly open culture that encourages employees to question the status quo. Hypocrisy.

Don’t even get me started on politicians, leadership experts, self-help gurus and everyone else seeking fame and fortune by suckering the perpetually-distracted masses into buying whatever brand of snake oil they’re selling. Who ever thought duplicity would become a critical success skill?

Maybe I’m getting cynical in my old age, but it does seem that behind every public protest are hypocrites who privately benefit from it. And the level of hypocrisy is directly proportional to the volume of the outcry. Shakespeare was so right, but he never could have foreseen a media-crazed culture that rewards such revolting behavior.

Screen shot of Harvey Weinstein and Jennifer Lawrence from 2013 GLAAD Media Awards

  • Barry Duck

    Hypocrisy seemed to get worse where I was working in the mid 90’s, and I had a bad habit of speaking my mind, for which I was told they didn’t pay me to think. Our CEO then Jack Ward was the beginning of the end for our company. He did the textbook Jack Welch moves until he ran everything in the ground and then given a golden parachute to leave.
    All of the long time employees could not believe it, today most of the buildings have been torn down or sold off, very devastating for that area of the state.

    • Steve Tobak

      All too common a story, i’m afraid.

  • BigGameHunter

    Hypocrisy seemed to be a core value where I worked. Yeah, I’ll name the dump. Xerox. Like Barry’s story, this is now a company that was, and many of the so-called leaders were simply legends in their own lunch boxes. When they implemented the Sexual Harassment Policy, we all went through the course. Anybody with a single partially functioning nerve ending between their ears knew what was proper and what was not without taking the course. We al put the check in the box regardless. Done. A year or so later, I had a conversation with a female colleague who was very upset and surprised, and she told me that she had just been pinched in the butt by the Big Moosh. I later worked at one of the big accounting firms and had implemented a sports marketing title sponsorship as part of the brand strategy. At the inaugural event, the Big Moosh propositioned someone after a few drinks at the celebration party and it was brought to my attention as CMO. Turns out unbeknownst to him that it was the wife of the event host. I almost cleaned my ears with a .45 while profusely apologizing for his behavior the next day. So, it is power that corrupts and leads to the sense of self-entitlement. The hypocrisy and virtue signaling that follows is not only sickening; it’s the basis of institutional double standards.

    • Steve Tobak

      So right about Xerox, a chronically mismanaged company along with HP, Kodak, Yahoo, Radio Shack, etc. Power corrupts, yes. But most leaders don’t fall victim to it. Those who do give leaders a bad name.

  • smithjp1000

    “…it does seem that behind every public protest are hypocrites who privately benefit from it” – I don’t see how Colin Kapernick is benefiting from his public protest – there is always an example that doesn’t fit . Herman Finer says with power and desecration comes corruption.