Neglecting to thank Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein in her 2009 Oscar acceptance speech was intentional, Kate Winslet has revealed. The 42-year-old actress told the LA Times the omission was “absolutely deliberate” in an interview yesterday.
“I remember being told: ‘Make sure you thank Harvey if you win.’ And I remember turning around and saying, ‘No I won’t. No I won’t.’ And it was nothing to do with not being grateful,” Winslet says. “If people aren’t well-behaved, why would I thank him?”
Winslet won the Best Actress Oscar for drama The Reader, which The Weinstein Company financed and distributed. Winslet stated that she had been dealing with Weinstein since her very first movie, however. The mogul’s company Miramax Films similarly distributed Peter Jackson’s Heavenly Creatures, which Winslet says he reminded her of every time she encountered him. “For my whole career, Harvey Weinstein, whenever I’ve bumped into him, he’d grab my arm and say, ‘Don’t forget who gave you your first movie.’ Like I owe him everything,” she said. “Then later, with The Reader, same thing, ‘I’m gonna get you that Oscar nomination, I’m gonna get you a win.’”
This is how Weinstein was, Winslet says. “That’s how he operated. He was bullying and nasty. Going on a business level, he was always very, very hard to deal with — he was rude.” She describes her experience with Weinstein on The Reader, calling out the producer for his “disgraceful behaviour.” She adds that “I’m actually not going to [get into it] because it’s a can of worms that I’m not prepared to publicly open — nothing to do with sexual harassment, thankfully, lucky me. My god. I somehow dodged that bullet.”
The Reader was the last time Winslet worked with Weinstein – by the actresses’ choice. “Damn right,” she says. “I don’t pander to what you’re supposed to do and what you’re not supposed to do. I won’t be pushed around or bullied by anyone… Certainly not by Harvey Weinstein.”
Speaking up was imperative in order to change the trend of misogynistic, abusive behaviour, Winslet asserts. “This kind of treatment of any workplace is utterly unacceptable. And hopefully what will happen is that more women will feel compelled to come forward. I hope that Harvey Weinstein absolutely is punished within the fullest extent of the law.”
Winslet rounded off the interview by saying that the downfall of Weinstein was a win for all women. “The fact that I’m never going to have to deal with Harvey Weinstein again as long as I live is one of the best things that’s ever happened and I’m sure the feeling is universal,” she said.
Winslet was one of the first celebrities to openly denounce Weinstein last week when the sexual harassment cases were revealed.