Barack and Michelle Obama have addressed the Harvey Weinstein scandal, issuing a statement saying they’re “disgusted” by the torrent of allegations of sexual misconduct by the Hollywood mogul.
“Michelle and I have been disgusted by the recent reports about Harvey Weinstein,” the former president and first lady said in a statement Tuesday. “Any man who demeans and degrades women in such fashion needs to be condemned and held accountable, regardless of wealth or status. We should celebrate the courage of women who have come forward to tell these painful stories. And we all need to build a culture — including by empowering our girls and teaching our boys decency and respect — so we can make such behavior less prevalent in the future.”
Weinstein has long been a major Democratic donor and fundraiser, and the Obamas’ older daughter, Malia, briefly worked as an intern at the Weinstein Co. earlier this year, before the allegations came to light.
Weinstein was fired from his eponymous company Sunday in the wake of a bombshell New York Times report chronicling “decades” of alleged sexual harassment and settlements with at least eight women. Numerous other women have come forward with additional accusations of misconduct, including Asia Argento, Rosanna Arquette, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Angelina Jolie. Through a spokesperson, Weinstein has denied any allegations of non-consensual sex as well as acts of retaliation against any women for refusing his advances.