Rose McGowan gave a powerful speech Friday at The Women’s Convention of Detroit, her first public remarks since accusing Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault (claims Weinstein has denied).
“I have been silenced for 20 years: I have been slut-shamed, I have been harassed, I’ve been maligned,” she said, addressing women in the room. “And you know what? I’m just like you.” She described each woman as her own rose. “We have thorns, and our thorns carry justice. And our thorns carry consequence. No more will we be shunted to the side.”
McGowan particularly zeroed in on the persistent inequalities of Hollywood, and who makes the movies. “[Movies are] all told through 96 percent males in the Directors’ Guild of America; that statistic has not changed since 1946,” she said. “We are given one view. And I know the men behind that view. And they should not be in your mind and they should not be in mind. It’s time to clean house.” She then proudly raised her fist in the air.
McGowan was a part of the first wave of Harvey Weinstein accusers made public in a New York Times report that detailed settlements he reached with dozens of women. The Times reported that McGowan reached a $100,000 settlement with him back in 1997 after an undisclosed hotel encounter during the Sundance Film Festival, and subsequently, the actress alleged on Twitter that “HW raped me.” (Weinstein denies any allegation of non-consensual sex.) More than 50 women have now accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct.
The fallout from Weinstein’s disgracing has extended to such media power players also accused of sexual misconduct as former Amazon programming chief Roy Price, director James Toback, and former MSNBC contributor Mark Halperin.
McGowan made sure to clarify, however, that sexual harassment and abuse extends far beyond the media and entertainment industry. “Hollywood may seem like it’s an isolated thing, but it is not,” she explained. “It is the messaging system for your mind. It is the mirror that you’re given to look into. This is what you are as a woman. This is what you are as a man. This is what you are as a boy. Girl. Gay. Straight. Transgender.”
“I came to be a voice for all of us who have been told that we are nothing. For all us who have been looked down on. For all of us who have been grabbed by the motherf—ing p—y,” she said, referecing Donald Trump’s infamous Access Hollywood tape. “No more. Name it, shame it and call it out. Join me.”
McGowan then ended her speech on an impassioned note. “P—ies grab back! Women grab back! We speak! We yell! We march! We are here! We will not go away!”