“We’ve Got to Pick Our Poison”: Hillsong Pastor Calls Out Double Standard on Hugh Hefner vs. Harvey Weinstein


Hollywood erupted in outrage last month along with people across the nation after dozens of sexual assault and harassment accusations were brought against famed movie mogul Harvey Weinstein.

With women taking to social media with “#MeToo,” the scandal has unleashed a tidal wave of response, exposing sexual impropriety in the film industry and beyond.

Hillsong Church Pastor Carl Lentz shared his own take on the scandal during an interview with “The Breakfast Club” last week, stirring up some controversy with his take on the double standard our society is plagued with and the destructive nature of pornography in today’s culture.

Lentz says it’s hypocritical for people to vilify Harvey Weinstein for his sexual immorality when just days prior to the scandal breaking, people were honoring the late Playboy mogul, Hugh Hefner, following his September 27th death.

“It’s interesting — on one hand we honor Hugh Hefner when he passes away — the dude was a pornographer,” Lentz said. “But yet Harvey Weinstein is this demon in culture right now and I said, we’ve got to pick our poison.”

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Radio show hosts Charlamagne Tha God and Angela Yee were quick to point out that there’s a big difference between Weinstein and Hefner in that Hefner’s Playmates were willingly in the position of being over-sexualized females. They wanted to be doing what they were doing, whereas Weinstein’s victims were coerced by the movie mogul, and he leveraged his power over their careers as a way to make unwanted sexual advances.

“In no way am I likening these two things together. I’m saying what they represent,” Lentz followed up. “We’re mad on one hand about what Harvey Weinstein has done, but the culture that created it we also honor.”

Lentz explains said “culture” to be society’s distorted view of sex, which he believes is derived from pornography.   

“I think the evidence is there that pornography is destructive to anybody that’s involved with it. From what I’ve seen and from what I know, I don’t think it’s helping anybody,” he asserted. “I think it definitely devalues what is right and what is holy.”

Ultimately, Lentz says sexual immorality in today’s culture is a reflection of the paradox surrounding the Harvey Weinstein scandal in that, we as a society have decided to pick and choose which sexual sins are “acceptable.” In doing so, we’ve also become desensitized.

“I think you can get to a point in culture where you’re so ingrained to think things are right, you know, we start to lose our sensitivity,” he said. “If something happens enough it becomes normal — like racism, like inequality, like things that should bother us. After a while porn breaks down your defense systems.”

He closed his argument with a pastoral message that everyone can get on board with. Regardless of the circumstances or sin in question, the answer is always Jesus.

“Harvey Weinstein, he needs Jesus like I need Jesus,” Lentz said. “It doesn’t mean that we absolve or endorse or advocate or excuse his behavior. It just means our answer is the same. No matter what your problem is, no matter what your sin is, no matter how big or small we might make it, I feel like we know what the answer is.”

Bri Lamm
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Bri is an outgoing introvert with a heart that beats for adventure. She lives to serve the Lord, experience the world, and eat macaroni and cheese in between capturing life’s greatest moments on one of her favorite cameras.