Ever since scores of sexual harassment allegations against Harvey Weinstein became public last fall, Hollywood has been reckoning with the industry-wide problem of harassment and abuse. Many celebrities have pledged their support for the #MeToo movement, wearing black dresses and symbolic pins to award shows in order to demonstrate their solidarity with the accusers and victims. But not everyone is a fan. French actress Catherine Deneuve, for example, signed an open letter alongside other French women criticizing the movement (though she later walked some of it back). When Liam Neeson was asked to address the situation during an appearance on The Late Late Show, he replied that there’s a “bit of a witch-hunt happening.” And in a new interview, director and Monty Python member Terry Gilliam has become the latest to publicly criticize the #MeToo movement, comparing it to “mob rule.”
“It’s crazy how simplified things are becoming. There is no intelligence anymore and people seem to be frightened to say what they really think. Now I am told even by my wife to keep my head a bit low,” Gilliam told AFP. “It’s like when mob rule takes over, the mob is out there, they are carrying their torches, and they are going to burn down Frankenstein’s castle.”
Gilliam focused a lot on the Weinstein allegations specifically. Many actresses (even including those as famous and powerful as Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow) have said that Weinstein used his power as a producer to try and coerce them sexually.
“It is a world of victims. I think some people did very well out of meeting with Harvey and others didn’t,” Gilliam said. “The ones who did knew what they were doing. These are adults, we are talking about adults with a lot of ambition. Harvey opened the door for a few people, a night with Harvey — that’s the price you pay. Some people paid the price, other people suffered from it.”
While the director noted that he believes Weinstein is “a monster,” he warned that there are still many people in the industry behaving badly. “I don’t think Hollywood will change, power always takes advantage — it always does and always has.” He added, “It’s how you deal with power — people have got to take responsibility for their own selves.”
Back in October, actress Lena Headey shared her story about Weinstein, alleging that the producer feigned interest in her professionally multiple times before he would steer the conversation back to her personal life (even saying he had a script to show her in order to lure her back to his hotel room). As part of the story, Headey also mentioned that while working on the Miramax-distributed The Brothers Grimm, “I was subjected to endless bullying by the director Terry Gilliam.”