Stars Who Have Spoken Out Against Harvey Weinstein
On Oct. 5, The New York Times published a bombshell report about Hollywood executive Harvey Weinstein, alleging "decades" of sexual harassment, including claims made by actress Ashley Judd. In response to the story and a subsequent investigation published Oct. 10 by The New Yorker, numerous celebrities have spoken out against Weinstein, including major stars such as George Clooney, Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep, and Kate Winslet, all of whom worked with Weinstein previously at The Weinstein Company or his earlier company, Miramax.
Weinstein, who has since been terminated from his position at The Weinstein Company, initially released a statement to the Times, saying in part, "I came of age in the '60s and '70s, when all the rules about behavior and workplaces were different. That was the culture then," and, "I appreciate the way I've behaved with colleagues in the past has caused a lot of pain, and I sincerely apologize for it." Weinstein's lawyer Charles Harder also said his client was preparing a lawsuit against the Times. After the New Yorker story, which included allegations of sexual misconduct and assault, Weinstein's representative said, in part, "Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein."
As the bombshell reports reverberate around Hollywood, take a look at what some of the industry's biggest names are saying about the Weinstein allegations.
"Someone said to me the other day that they are sick of hearing people talk about how disgusting it is," Abrams said of the allegations against Weinstein. "I don't think enough can be said about how viciously repulsive his abuse of power was. He's a monster. There are other monsters but there are those who fight monsters and tonight is all about those who fight monsters."
“The whole Harvey Weinstein thing is very sad for everybody involved,” Allen told the BBC in an interview. “Tragic for the poor women that were involved, sad for Harvey that his life is so messed up. There’s no winners in that. It’s just very, very sad and tragic for those poor women that had to go through that.” Allen later clarified his remarks in a statement, saying, "When I said I felt sad for Harvey Weinstein I thought it was clear the meaning was because he is a sad, sick man. I was surprised it was treated differently. Lest there be any ambiguity, this statement clarifies my intention and feelings.”
“It’s hard to think that in 2017 we are still talking about this and that it’s the lead story on the international news, but it is right that it is there. It should be the lead story,” Zeta-Jones said. "I hope that the fall from grace that this man has had — you’re never too big to fail — is a lesson to all those who have questioned if this behavior is acceptable.... I think the attention is due and I really believe that if this is not the tipping point, it’s at least some kind of turning point.” She added, “That big old dinosaur of people who think a man is able to get away with that behavior and has been getting away with it for years, is extinct as of now.”
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences Board of Governors
Weinstein was expelled by the Academy for his alleged behavior. "The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Board of Governors met today to discuss the allegations against Harvey Weinstein, and has voted well in excess of the required two-thirds majority to immediately expel him from the Academy. We do so not simply to separate ourselves from someone who does not merit the respect of his colleagues but also to send a message that the era of willful ignorance and shameful complicity in sexually predatory behavior and workplace harassment in our industry is over. What’s at issue here is a deeply troubling problem that has no place in our society. The Board continues to work to establish ethical standards of conduct that all Academy members will be expected to exemplify."
"For the last week I've been stunned and heartbroken about the revelations that have come to light about my friend for 25 years Harvey Weinstein," Tarantino said in an Oct. 13 statement about his longtime producing parter. "I need a few more days to process my pain, emotions, anger and memory and then I will speak publicly about it."
Winfrey, who starred in The Weinstein Company release Lee Daniels' The Butler, called Weinstein's alleged behavior "hideous" in a post on her Facebook page. "Thanks to the brave voices we've heard this week, many more will now be emboldened to come forward EVERY time this happens. I believe a shift is coming."
Back in 2005, Courtney Love said on a red carpet when asked to give advice to young women in Hollywood, "If Harvey Weinstein invites you to a private party in his Four Seasons [hotel room], don't go." The video was unearthed following the sexual misconduct allegations against Weinstein. On Twitter, in response to the clip, Love claimed, "Although I wasn't one of his victims, I was eternally banned by CAA for speaking out against [him]."
In a scathing op-ed written for the New York Times, Polley addressed her own experiences with Weinstein, whom she claimed pushed her to have a "very close relationship" with him during a business meeting. "Harvey Weinstein may be the central-casting version of a Hollywood predator, but he was just one festering pustule in a diseased industry," she wrote later in the piece. "The only thing that shocked most people in the film industry about the Harvey Weinstein story was that suddenly, for some reason, people seemed to care. That knowledge alone allowed a lot of us to breathe for the first time in ages."
The Late Late Show host used humor to take down Weinstein during an amfAR gala in Los Angeles. "It's a beautiful night here in L.A. It's so beautiful, Harvey Weinstein has already asked tonight up to his hotel to give him a massage ... It has been weird this week though, hasn't it? Watching Harvey Weinstein in hot water? Ask any of the women who watched him take a bath, it’s weird watching Harvey Weinstein in hot water. Harvey Weinstein wanted to come tonight, but he’ll settle for whatever potted plant is closest."
The James Bond actress detailed her own alleged experience with Weinstein in a statement to Variety. She added, "I salute the great bravery of the women who have come forward. We should recognize that this sort of behavior exists everywhere and is not unique to the entertainment industry. The exploitation of power is ubiquitous. This behavior is unacceptable and needs to be eliminated."
In that same follow-up story, Paltrow claimed she was harassed by Weinstein when she was 22 after Weinstein hired her to star in the film Emma. "We’re at a point in time when women need to send a clear message that this is over,” she said. “This way of treating women ends now.”
In a follow-up story in The New York Times published Oct. 10, Jolie claimed Weinstein harassed her during the release of Playing by Heart in the late 1990s. “I had a bad experience with Harvey Weinstein in my youth, and as a result, chose never to work with him again and warn others when they did,” she told the Times in an email. “This behavior towards women in any field, any country is unacceptable.”
“The disgraceful news about Harvey Weinstein has appalled those of us whose work he championed, and those whose good and worthy causes he supported. The intrepid women who raised their voices to expose this abuse are our heroes," Streep said in a statement to HuffPost. "One thing can be clarified. Not everybody knew. Harvey supported the work fiercely, was exasperating but respectful with me in our working relationship, and with many others with whom he worked professionally. I didn’t know about these other offenses: I did not know about his financial settlements with actresses and colleagues; I did not know about his having meetings in his hotel room, his bathroom, or other inappropriate, coercive acts. And if everybody knew, I don’t believe that all the investigative reporters in the entertainment and the hard news media would have neglected for decades to write about it.
The behavior is inexcusable, but the abuse of power familiar. Each brave voice that is raised, heard and credited by our watchdog media will ultimately change the game.”
Clooney gave a lengthy interview to The Daily Beast on Oct. 9, in which he said in part, “I’ve heard rumors, and the rumors, in general, started back in the ’90s, and they were that certain actresses had slept with Harvey to get a role. It seemed like a way to smear the actresses and demean them by saying that they didn’t get the jobs based on their talent, so I took those rumors with a grain of salt. But the other part of this, the part we’re hearing now about eight women being paid off, I didn’t hear anything about that and I don’t know anyone that did. That’s a whole other level and there’s no way you can reconcile that. There’s nothing to say except that it’s indefensible.”
“A corrupt, powerful man wields his influence to abuse and manipulate women. We’ve heard this infuriating, heartbreaking story countless times before. And now here we go again. I stand firm in the hope that we will finally come together as a society to stand up against this kind of predatory behavior, to help victims find their voices and their healing, and to stop it once and for all," Roberts said in a statement to PEOPLE. "If you’ve been subjected to any kind of abuse or harassment, there are places to go for help, including the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN.org). Or call the National Sexual Assault Hotline 800-656-HOPE (4673).”
“I’ve never worked with Harvey,” Hanks said to The New York Times. “But, aah, it all just sort of fits, doesn’t it? Isn’t it part and parcel to all of society somehow, that people in power get away with this? Look, I don’t want to rag on Harvey but so obviously something went down there. You can’t buy, ‘Oh, well, I grew up in the ’60s and ’70s and so therefore…’ I did, too.”
"I am saddened and angry that a man who I worked with used his position of power to intimidate, sexually harass and manipulate many women over decades," Affleck said in a statement on Oct. 10, following the publication of The New Yorker story. "The additional allegations of assault that I read this morning made me sick. This is completely unacceptable, and I find myself asking what I can do to make sure this doesn’t happen to others. We need to do better at protecting our sisters, friends, co-workers and daughters. We must support those who come forward, condemn this type of behavior when we see it and help ensure there are more women in positions of power."
"We know this stuff goes on in the world. I did five or six movies with Harvey. I never saw this," Damon said, in part, during a lengthy interview with Deadline. "I think a lot of actors have come out and said, everybody’s saying we all knew. That’s not true. This type of predation happens behind closed doors, and out of public view. If there was ever an event that I was at and Harvey was doing this kind of thing and I didn’t see it, then I am so deeply sorry, because I would have stopped it. And I will peel my eyes back now, father than I ever have, to look for this type of behavior. Because we know that it happens. I feel horrible for these women and it’s wonderful they have this incredible courage and are standing up now."
“I want to add my voice of support for the women who have had the courage to speak out against Harvey Weinstein,” Gosling wrote on Twitter. “Like most people in Hollywood, I have worked with him and I’m deeply disappointed in myself for being so oblivious to these devastating experiences of sexual harassment and abuse. He is emblematic of a systemic problem. Men should stand with women and work together until there is real accountability and change.”
“I was deeply disturbed to hear the news about Harvey Weinstein’s behavior. I worked with Harvey five years ago and I did not experience any form of harassment personally, nor did I know about any of these allegations,” Lawrence said in a statement obtained by EW. “This kind of abuse is inexcusable and absolutely upsetting. My heart goes out to all of the women affected by these gross actions. And I want to thank them for their bravery to come forward.”
“The fact that these women are starting to speak out about the gross misconduct of one of our most important and well regarded film producers, is incredibly brave and has been deeply shocking to hear. The way Harvey Weinstein has treated these vulnerable, talented young women is NOT the way women should ever EVER deem to be acceptable or commonplace in ANY workplace," Winslet said in a statement to Variety. “I have no doubt that for these women this time has been, and continues to be extremely traumatic. I fully embrace and salute their profound courage, and I unequivocally support this level of very necessary exposure of someone who has behaved in reprehensible and disgusting ways. His behaviour is without question disgraceful and appalling and very, very wrong. I had hoped that these kind of stories were just made up rumours, maybe we have all been naïve. And it makes me so angry. There must be ‘no tolerance’ of this degrading, vile treatment of women in ANY workplace anywhere in the world.”
"There is no excuse for sexual harassment or sexual assault — no matter who you are and no matter what profession," DiCaprio said in a statement that didn't name Weinstein. "I applaud the strength and courage of the women who came forward and made their voices heard."
Speaking to PEOPLE, Heidi Klum slammed Weinstein, whom she worked with on Project Runway. "I wish I could say that the horrible stories I read about Harvey Weinstein are a rare occurrence in our society, but that is simply not the case. We would be naive to think that this behavior only happens in Hollywood," Klum said. "This is one example of the more pervasive problem of the mistreatment of women around the world. I think it would be hard to find a woman – myself included – who have not had an experience where they have felt intimidated or threatened by a man using his power, position or his physical stature. I truly admire these brave women who are coming forward to share their stories because change cannot come unless there is a dialogue and people are held accountable."
The New York Times’ Oct. 5 expose on Harvey Weinstein reported that McGowan received a financial settlement from Weinstein in 1997 following an undisclosed incident in a hotel room during the Sundance Film Festival. McGowan did not comment for the Times story, but has since spoken out forcefully against him on social media. “Women fight on. And to the men out there, stand up. We need you as allies,” she tweeted after the story was published. On Oct. 12, she alleged on Twitter that Harvey Weinstein “raped me.” (In response to the actress’ claim, a representative for Weinstein said in a statement, “Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein.“)
Judd is one of the women who publicly accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct in Oct. 5 The New York Times story, telling the paper in part, "Women have been talking about Harvey amongst ourselves for a long time, and it’s simply beyond time to have the conversation publicly.”
In the New Yorker story on Weinstein published Oct. 10, Argento, an actress and filmmaker, alleged that Weinstein raped her by forcibly performing oral sex on her in 1997. "Just his body, his presence, his face, bring me back to the little girl that I was when I was twenty-one," the age she was when the alleged assault occurred, she said. "When I see him, it makes me feel little and stupid and weak... After the rape, he won."
“As I’ve stated before publicly, I support and applaud all women and these women who speak out against any abuse and misuse of power — be it domestic violence or sexual harassment in the workforce. We need to eradicate this behavior,” Kidman said in a statement.
The former Friday Night Lights star relayed a story about Weinstein via Instagram and apologized for not coming forward sooner about his alleged behavior. "I am appalled for all the women being told these occurrences are in any way their fault," she wrote. "No more Harvey Weinstein in Hollywood does not solve the problem but maybe the more voices sharing their stories and adding support to the countless women and men who have suffered through abuse of power, the less it will be tolerated."
“Whilst there is no doubt that Harvey Weinstein has helped and championed my film career for the past 20 years, I was completely unaware of these offenses which are, of course, horrifying and I offer my sympathy to those who have suffered, and wholehearted support to those who have spoken out,” Dench said in a statement.
Close provided a statement to The New York Times that says, in part, "I’m sitting here, deeply upset, acknowledging to myself that, yes, for many years, I have been aware of the vague rumors that Harvey Weinstein had a pattern of behaving inappropriately around women. Harvey has always been decent to me, but now that the rumors are being substantiated, I feel angry and darkly sad."
"The woman who chose to speak about their experience of harassment by Harvey Weinstein deserve our awe. It's not fun or easy. It's brave," Dunham tweeted. She also wrote a New York Times op-ed in which she called out men in Hollywood for their “deafening silence” in the wake the sexual harassment allegations made against Weinstein.
"To be clear what Harvey Weinstein did was a disgusting abuse of power and horrible," Ruffalo tweeted. "I hope we are now seeing the beginning of the end of these abuses."
"[Weinstein] financed the first 14 years of my career - and now I know while I was profiting, others were in terrible pain. It makes me feel ashamed," Smith wrote on Twitter.