Aaron Sorkin says he believes the “dam has burst” when it comes to alleged sexual harassment and misconduct in Hollywood.
Appearing on CNN to discuss his directorial debut Molly’s Game with host and anchor Christiane Amanpour, he said despite claims that “everybody knew” about Harvey Weinstein’s alleged misconduct, he was unaware of any wrong-doing in that regard. “I knew that Harvey Weinstein was a guy with a bad temper and that wasn’t something I wanted to collaborate with, but I didn’t know about any of the… what ranges from sexual harassment to straight up rape. It’s horrifying. I’m horrified and heartbroken for the victims,” he told Amanpour. (Weinstein has denied any allegations of sexual assault.)
The West Wing creator went on to liken the outpouring of reports of sexual harassment in recent months to a “biblical flood” and added, “My hope is that any sexual harassers-in-waiting that are coming up in show business will be sufficiently scared to death by what’s happened to the assaulters. They’ve gotten the death penalty in Hollywood.”
He also urged Hollywood to not take all accusations at face value. “I’ll read from time to time that all of the alleged victims deserve to be believed, that all of the women deserve to be believed and I don’t agree with that,” he said. “I think that all of the women deserve to be heard. I think that all of the women deserve to be taken seriously, but I think the accused deserve to be heard and taken seriously too. Otherwise, what we have is a mob.”
Sorkin added the importance of taking the accused seriously and giving everyone due process to allow progress to continue. He clarified that carelessness in this regard could do more harm than help to the current push to eliminate and expose such behaviors.
He also talked more broadly about the fight for equality and better treatment of women, calling for men to do their part. “Men have to get off the bench and get into this fight, but we must be allowed into the fight,” he said. “In other words, women, this can’t be, women good, men bad. People need to recognize when they’re on the same team.”
Molly’s Game hits theaters Dec. 25.