As allegations of sexual harassment and sexual assault continue to pile up against Harvey Weinstein following last week’s New York Times article, celebs are speaking out to denounce his alleged behavior (which he “unequivocally denied” in a statement from his spokesperson). Meryl Streep and Judi Dench shared their shock over the situation and their support of the women involved, but they’re far from the only ones. See how Emmy Rossum, Kate Winslet, Lena Dunham, Jennifer Lawrence, George Clooney, and others in Hollywood are responding.
Kate Winslet, who won the 2009 Best Actress Oscar for her role in The Weinstein Company’s The Reader, gave a statement to Variety. “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,” she said.
“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 behavior is without question disgraceful and appalling and very, very wrong. I had hoped that these kind of stories were just made up rumors, 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.”
Emmy Rossum took to Twitter to call out the “old dinosaur” explanation, writing that “using power to intimidate women for sexual gain is reprehensible and inexcusable.”
“I was shocked and appalled by the revelations about Harvey Weinstein,” Hillary Clinton, whom Weinstein publicly supported for president, wrote in a statement posted to Twitter. “The behavior described by women coming forward cannot be tolerated. Their courage and the support of others is critical in helping to stop this kind of behavior.”
Mark Ruffalo tweeted to his followers, “To be clear what Harvey Weinstein did was a disgusting abuse of power and horrible. I hope we are now seeing the beginning of the end of these abuses.”
Jessica Chastain called out the media for putting the burden on women. “[I’m] sick of the media demanding only women speak up. What about the men? Perhaps many are afraid to look at their own behavior…..”
“A good bunch of people that I know would say, ‘Yeah, Harvey’s a dog’ or ‘Harvey’s chasing girls,’ but again, this is a very different kind of thing. This is harassment on a very high level. And there’s an argument that everyone is complicit in it,” George Clooney said to the Daily Beast. “I suppose the argument would be that it’s not just about Hollywood, but about all of us — that every time you see someone using their power and influence to take advantage of someone without power and influence and you don’t speak up, you’re complicit. And there’s no question about that.”
He also repeatedly called Weinstein’s alleged behavior “indefensible,” and said, “Before, people weren’t paying enough attention to it. Now we have to. This is the moment to start scaring people like this into not acting this way anymore.”
Read his full interview here.
Glenn Close told the New York Times, “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.”
She continued, “I’m angry, not just at him and the conspiracy of silence around his actions, but also that the ‘casting couch’ phenomenon, so to speak, is still a reality in our business and in the world: the horrible pressure, the awful expectation put on a woman when a powerful, egotistical, entitled bully expects sexual favors in exchange for a job.”
“Ours is an industry in which very few actors are indispensable and women are cast in far fewer roles than men, so the stakes are higher for women and make them more vulnerable to the manipulations of a predator. I applaud the monumental courage of the women who have spoken up. I hope that their stories and the reportage that gave them their voices represents a tipping point, that more stories will be told and that change will follow.”
Read her full statement here.
Alyssa Milano, who hosts the Weinstein Company-produced Lifetime series Project Runway: All Stars, issued a statement to Patriot Not Partisan: “I’ve been asked a number of times to comment on the Harvey Weinstein scandal. While I am sickened and angered over the disturbing accusations of Weinstein’s sexual predation and abuse of power, I’m happy — ecstatic even — that it has opened up a dialogue around the continued sexual harassment, objectification, and degradation of women. To the women who have suffered any form of abuse of power, I stand beside you. To the women who have come forward against a system that is designed to keep you silent, I stand in awe of you and appreciate you and your fortitude. It is not easy to disclose such experiences, especially in the public eye. Your strength will inspire others. Thank you, thank you, thank you, for fighting this battle so hopefully my daughter won’t have to.”
Read her full statement here.
The Hamilton creator took to Twitter with his reaction, writing, “I’m as appalled and repulsed by the Weinstein news as anyone with a beating heart. And forever in awe of the bravery of those who spoke out.”
Lena Dunham spoke out both in an op-ed in the New York Times, “Harvey Weinstein and the Silence of the Men,” and on Instagram, where she stated, “Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident. This needs to end, and it’s high time Hollywood shone a light on itself and made real changes in the behavior we accept from those in.”
Christian Slater tweeted his take on the situation, writing, “Women who come forward to speak out against abusers to do at great cost and risk to themselves and it’s hard to believe that they are met with shaming statements, disbelief, and blame. Industries and workplaces are often complicit in the protection of these abusers. Confronting a painful truth is easily passed over in favor of excuses and denial.”
He continued, “The brave actions of the women who went on the record and the journalists that shared their truth have powerfully challenged that paradigm. No woman should fear for her safety in the workplace. No man should feel immune from the consequences of his actions. Accountability is essential to destroy the dangerous and persistent idea that some people are above the law.”
He finished by saying, “It can sometimes be easy for a man to live without challenging his entitled and distorted ideas about right and wrong, especially when he experiences success. It’s worth it to become educated and informed (it’s a lifelong process). Most people don’t have a choice when it comes to following the law. Having a society and a justice system that discriminate based on skin color, gender, power, and socioeconomic status isn’t a free pass for those on the easier end of it. It’s a challenge to recognize our privilege and use our platform to even the playing field.”
Jennifer Lawrence won an Oscar in 2013 for her role in Silver Linings Playbook, a movie that was produced by The Weinstein Company. Yesterday, she told Variety, “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. 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.”
Stephen Colbert was in no mood to joke around when he addressed the Weinstein situation on his show Monday night: “This is monstrous behavior that in a just world, would not have been allowed to go on for decades. It is indefensible.”
Julianne Moore voiced her support for the women involved, tweeting, “Coming forward about sexual abuse and coercion is scary and women have nothing to be gained personally by doing so. But through their bravery we move forward as a culture, and I thank them. Stand with @AshleyJudd @rosemcgowan and others.”
Seth Rogen tweeted, “I believe all the women coming forward about Harvey Weinstein’s sexual harassment. It takes bravery to do so.”
Judd Apatow also shared his feelings via Twitter: “What Harvey Weinstein did was abhorrent. He admits he did it. Why should anyone be silent in their disgust and support for his victims?”
Olivia Wilde broke down the situation in a series of tweets, writing, “Let’s be clear. What Harvey Weinstein did to those women was nothing short of abuse. I am disturbed, and disgusted. It’s appalling. Though I never witnessed it, I stand in solidarity with his victims, and hope their bravery sends a loud message to all abusers of power. The victim blaming needs to stop. As does the shaming of women who didn’t come forward earlier. They spoke, and we are here to listen.”
Jesse Tyler Ferguson
Jesse Tyler Ferguson tweeted: “My heart breaks for everyone who was hurt by this man. As [an] actor, a human & a feminist I am standing in support. Always have. Always will.”
(Photos via Daniel Zuchnik/Getty + Rich Polk/Getty Images for IMDb + Pascal Le Segretain/Getty)