Meryl Streep, Jennifer Lawrence, Glenn Close, George Clooney and other celebrities are speaking out about high-powered film producer Harvey Weinstein following an explosive New York Times report that detailed sexual harassment allegations spanning decades from actresses and female employees.
Here is a roundup of reactions from some of Hollywood’s most prominent figures, who have expressed shock and dismay at the claims against Weinstein. Others have praised actress Ashley Judd, who spoke to the New York Times, and other women who have come forward with their own stories.
“Michelle and I have been disgusted by the recent reports about Harvey Weinstein,” the couple said in a statement Tuesday. “Any man who demeans and degrades women in such fashion needs to be condemned and held accountable, regardless of wealth or status. We should celebrate the courage of women who have come forward to tell these painful stories. And we all need to build a culture — including by empowering our girls and teaching our boys decency and respect — so we can make such behavior less prevalent in the future.”
The actor spoke to Deadline about reports he and Russell Crowe called then New York Times reporter Sharon Waxman in 2004 at Weinstein’s behest in an effort to quash a story about the producer’s sexual misconduct. Damon denied trying to kill the story, and told the site that Weinstein asked him to tell Waxman — who now runs the entertainment site The Wrap — about his experience with Fabrizio Lombardo, a former Miramax executive who headed the film studio’s Italy office. According to Waxman, who published her own account on The Wrap, Lombardo’s “real job was to take care of Weinstein’s women needs, among other things.”
“My recollection was that it was about a one minute phone call,” Damon told Deadline, adding that he “was never conscripted to do anything.”
“I’m sure I mentioned to her that I didn’t know anything about the rest of her piece, because I didn’t,” Damon added. “And I still don’t know anything about that and Fabrizio. My experience with him was all above board and that’s what I told her.”
“I did five or six movies with Harvey. I never saw this,” Damon said. “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, fa[r]ther 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.”
In a guest column for The Hollywood Reporter, the actress wrote that she is “angry and disgusted about Harvey Weinstein’s abuse of power and his shameless assaults against women”
“This kind of abuse of women is grossly familiar, and for many of us, it’s hard to muster up surprise,” she continued. “I feel deeply for the women who had to deal with and navigate his incredibly entitled, bullying, revolting and inexcusable behavior. I am grateful to them and applaud their bravery in speaking out.”
Mol also addressed what she described as a “malicious, viral rumor” that she had “some kind of transactional relationship with” Weinstein.
“Over the years, it was gleefully embroidered, becoming increasingly bizarre and baroque — but the salacious, slut-shaming and misogynist message to the fable remained the same: In Hollywood, a young woman must build her career by humiliating herself and sleeping with powerful men,” Mol wrote.
The former secretary of state is among a number of prominent Democrats who have received political donations from Weinstein. The Post’s Elise Viebeck reports that the Hollywood mogul has donated at least $246,290 to the Democratic National Convention since 1994 and at least $23, 200 to the Congressional Campaign Committee.
In a statement Tuesday, Clinton said she “was shocked and appalled by the revelations.”
“The behavior described by women coming forward cannot be tolerated,” she added.
In a Facebook post Tuesday, the actor-director wrote that he is “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.”
“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,” he added.
The actress, who won an Academy Award for her performance in the 2012 Weinstein Company film “Silver Linings Playbook,” said in a statement to People that she “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,” she continued. “This kind of abuse is inexcusable and absolutely upsetting.”
She also thanked women speaking out against the film executive “for their bravery to come forward.”
The actress has posted a series of tweets in response to the New York Times report and has shared the remarks of other actresses, including Kate Winslet and Lena Dunham. She posted her most pointed comment on Monday, writing that she “was warned from the beginning.”
“To deny that is to create an environment for it to happen again,” she added.
I was warned from the beginning. The stories were everywhere. To deny that is to create an enviornment for it to happen again.
“It’s indefensible. That’s the only word you can start with,” Clooney told The Daily Beast. “Harvey’s admitted to it, and it’s indefensible.” The actor credited Weinstein with giving him his first big break as an actor — in “From Dusk Till Dawn” — and as a director in “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind.”
“We’ve had dinners, we’ve been on location together, we’ve had arguments,” Clooney added. “But I can tell you that I’ve never seen any of this behavior—ever.”
Clooney, who spoke at length with reporter Marlow Stern, also referenced statements by other Hollywood actors, who say they were unaware of the claims against Weinstein.
“I’ve seen a lot of people, from Meryl [Streep] to Judi Dench, come out and say “holy sh–,” and I think that that’s been the reaction by a lot of people in Hollywood. I don’t think that people were looking the other way; I think that people weren’t looking, because in some ways, a lecherous guy with money picking up younger girls is unfortunately not a news story in our society.”
On Monday, the Academy Award winner released a statement to the Huffington Post, calling Weinstein’s reported behavior “inexcusable” and praising as heroes “the intrepid women who raised their voices to expose this abuse.”
While some in Hollywood have characterized Weinstein’s alleged sexual misconduct as an open secret, Streep said she was unaware of the claims against him. She said the producer 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,” she added. “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.”
The actress said in a statement to the New York Times that “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.”
“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,” she added.
The actress, who won an Oscar for her performance as Queen Elizabeth in the Weinstein-produced “Shakespeare in Love,” said in a statement to Newsweek that despite her collaborative history with Weinstein, who she noted “has helped and championed my film career for the past 20 years,” she was unaware of the “horrifying” claims against him.
“I offer my sympathy to those who have suffered, and wholehearted support to those who have spoken out,” she said.
Winslet, who won an Academy Award for her performance in the 2008 film “The Reader,” which was distributed by the Weinstein Company, issued a statement to Variety on Monday.
“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,” Winslet said.
In a tweet Saturday, the Oscar-winning actress praised Judd and other women for talking about their experiences.
Huge respect for @AshleyJudd and all the women who broke their silence for the article on Harvey Weinstein. Brave.
The Oscar winner thanked Judd, actress Rose McGowan and others for sharing their stories and tweeted that “coming forward about sexual abuse and coercion is scary and women have nothing to be gained personally by doing so.”
1. Coming forward about sexual abuse and coercion is scary and women have nothing to be gained personally by doing so.
The actress, who was named in the Times report as one of at least eight women who had reached a settlement with Weinstein, encouraged women to “fight on” in a tweet last week after the Times published its story. “And to the men out there, stand up. We need you as allies.” She has since called on the Weinstein Company’s entire board of directors to resign. On Sunday, she tweeted a photo of herself, writing, “This is the girl that was hurt by a monster. This is who you are shaming with your silence.”
Women fight on. And to the men out there, stand up. We need you as allies. #bebrave
“Abuse, threats and coercion have been the norm for so many women trying to do business or make art. Mr. Weinstein may be the most powerful man in Hollywood to be revealed as a predator, but he’s certainly not the only one who has been allowed to run wild,” she wrote. “His behavior, silently co-signed for decades by employees and collaborators, is a microcosm of what has been happening in Hollywood since always and of what workplace harassment looks like for women everywhere.”
Thread: anyone saying these women are weak for taking a settlement or waiting to come forward- you don't understand what intimidation means
Amid criticism that late-night shows have largely ignored the allegations against Weinstein, the “Last Week Tonight” host addressed the claims directly. Oliver took aim at Weinstein’s statement to the Times in which the producer noted that he “came of age in the ’60s and ’70s, when all the rules about behavior and workplaces were different.”
“That was the culture back then.” Weinstein said, adding that he had “since learned it’s not an excuse in the office — or out of it.”
“Yeah, you’re right. Your excuse isn’t an excuse,” Oliver fired back. “In fact, it isn’t even as excuse for that behavior in the ’60s.”
The “Hamilton” creator tweeted that he is “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.”
The “Mindy Project” star tweeted that “there is no incentive for women in Hollywood to come forward to tell lies of a powerful producer sexually harassing them,” adding “I believe them.” She also encouraged men to speak out.
Why is it helpful men speak up? Bc that's what this personality fears most: the disintegration of the tacit male support for this behavior.