Yesterday, The New York Times ran what was then (but is no longer now) the latest in a long series of accusations of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior against Harvey Weinstein, a detailed, thoughtful account of Weinstein’s actions from actress and Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o. Nyong’o’s op-ed laid out, in precise detail, every step of Harvey Weinstein’s alleged efforts to exert control over her and make use of her body, from making repeated demands that she drink alcohol in his presence, to efforts to cajole her into sexual situations like his now infamous “nude massages.”
Although Weinstein—who’s currently “busy” in Arizona, getting “rehab” for “sex addiction” (and also using up most of a day’s supply of scare quotes in a single go)—has mostly been ignoring the now more than 40 women who’ve accused him of impropriety and assault over the last few weeks, he apparently felt moved to dispute Nyong’o’s story specifically. Thus, a spokesperson for Weinstein issued a statement today, writing, “Mr. Weinstein has a different recollection of the events,” adding that he “believes Lupita is a brilliant actress and a major force for the industry.”
And while there’s already a little ooze coming off of addressing Nyong’o by her first name—especially thanks to her account of his insistence that she call him “Harvey” from their very first meeting—the more frustrating part of the statement came when the representative added, “Last year, she sent a personal invitation to Mr. Weinstein to see her in her Broadway show Eclipsed.” As though that means they must actually be friends, with no hard feelings between them. As though Nyong’o hadn’t just published an entire god damn New York Times op-ed about the web of placating gestures, professional courtesies, and other disarmament gestures—like, say, inviting him to a high-profile Broadway show, an event where they would never, ever be alone together—that she’s been forced to adopt over the years to keep Weinstein from deciding to damage her career over her refusal to indulge in his alleged advances. Jesus Christ.