John Oliver is first late-night host to blast Harvey Weinstein over sexual harassment allegations
The first late-night host to take on Harvey Weinstein over his sexual harassment allegations is John Oliver.
On Sunday’s Last Week Tonight, Oliver called out Weinstein for former executive’s “infuriating” response to the claims.
Said Weinstein last week in a statement to the New York Times, which published an exposé about Weinstein alleging “decades” of sexual harassment, “I came of age in the ’60s and ’70s, when all the rules about behavior and workplaces were different. That was the culture then. I have since learned it’s not an excuse.”
Replied Oliver on Sunday, “Yeah, you’re right: Your excuse isn’t an excuse. In fact, it isn’t even an excuse for that behavior in the ’60s: ‘Well, back then we had no idea that women didn’t want to be forced to look at dicks! That wasn’t discovered by scientists until 1998. It was a different time.'”
Oliver then cited a report from HuffPost alleging Weinstein exposed himself in front of a local news reporter and masturbated.
“And new stories are now coming out, including an allegation from one local news reporter that Weinstein ‘trapped [her] in the hallway of the restaurant,’ tried to kiss her, and when she refused, he ‘proceeded to expose himself’ before ejaculating quickly into a potted plant,” Oliver said of the claim. “So, step aside, Chocolat: You are no longer the most horrifying picture that Harvey Weinstein has ever produced.”
Oliver’s jokes at the Hollywood mogul’s expense are significant, as he’s the first late-night host to comment on the sexual harassment allegations on air. Both Jimmy Kimmel and Stephen Colbert called out the claims against Weinstein on social media, while The Daily Show host Trevor Noah made a brief mention of Weinstein as an aside last week during a joke about Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (who was criticized for making a sexist comment). This past weekend’s Saturday Night Live also failed to take aim at Weinstein, even during Weekend Update. (According to the New York Times, jokes about Weinstein were cut from the broadcast.)
Since the Times published its story on Thursday, Weinstein has been fired from The Weinstein Company. Last week in a statement, Weinstein’s lawyer Charles Harder said the producer is preparing a lawsuit against the Times for its report. “The New York Times published today a story that is saturated with false and defamatory statements about Harvey Weinstein. It relies on mostly hearsay accounts and a faulty report, apparently stolen from an employee personnel file, which has been debunked by 9 different eyewitnesses. We sent the Times the facts and evidence, but they ignored it and rushed to publish. We are preparing the lawsuit now. All proceeds will be donated to women’s organizations.”