Two of Hollywood’s most esteemed Oscar-winning actresses have spoken out against Harvey Weinstein after the producer was fired from his own business, the Weinstein Company, following various accusations of sexual harassment.
Last week, The New York Times reported that the 65-year-old producer and film studio executive has settled eight cases going back dozens of years, and been accused of other sexual misconduct including asking staff for massages and to watch him in the shower. Actresses including Rose McGowan and Ashley Judd have also Weinstein of sexual harassment. The Hollywood mogul has produced popular films from Pulp Fiction to Gangs of New York.
On Monday, Meryl Streep released a statement to the Huffington Post calling Weinstein’s behaviour “disgraceful” and saying he had “appalled those of us whose work he championed.” She added that “the intrepid women who raised their voices to expose this abuse are our heroes.”
Streep, who has worked with Weinstein pointed out that she had no knowledge of Weinstein’s behaviour. “Harvey [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 offences,” she said. “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 behaviour is inexcusable but the abuse of power familiar,” Streep concluded. “Each brave voice that is raised, heard and credited by our watchdog media will ultimately change the game.”
Judi Dench has joined Streep in calling out Weinstein’s unforgivable behaviour. The British actress, who has worked with Weinstein on a number of films throughout her career, was horrified by the news, reports The Telegraph. “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 offences which are, of course, horrifying,” she declared. “I offer my sympathy to those who have suffered, and wholehearted support to those who have spoken out.”
Dench and Streep’s statements come after one of Weinstein’s victims, McGowan, openly criticised Hollywood for staying quiet. “Ladies of Hollywood, where are you? Ladies of Hollywood, your silence is deafening,” she posted on Twitter.
While Weinstein has apologise for causing “a lot of pain” he also asked for another chance and threatened to sue the New York Times for their initial report.