Four days after the New York Times published an investigation into sexual harassment allegations against Harvey Weinstein, the Miramax and Weinstein Company co-founder was fired from his post, despite having already taken an indefinite leave of absence. In the time since the report—which had several on-the-record statements from Weinstein’s alleged victims, including Ashley Judd—other women have come forward with their own allegations as well as condemnation.
Brie Larson, Lena Dunham Amber Tamblyn, and Rose McGowan—the latter of whom the Times report indicates settled out of court with Weinstein following “an episode in a hotel room during the Sundance Film Festival” —have called out Weinstein’s abuse of power, as well as the disconcerting silence in Hollywood following the bombshell report.
But slowly, more of Hollywood’s prominent players are speaking out against Weinstein, including one star who once called him God. The Huffington Post published a statement from Meryl Streep today, in which she both praises the women who have come forward while also stressing that “not everybody knew” about Weinstein’s alleged decades-long history of sexual harassment. Streep had a productive filmmaking history with Weinstein; his company distributed on August: Osage County and The Iron Lady, the latter of which earned her a second Best Actress Oscar. Here’s her full statement:
The disgraceful news about Harvey Weinstein has appalled those of us whose work he championed, and those whose good and worthy causes he supported. The intrepid women who raised their voices to expose this abuse are our heroes.
One thing can be clarified. Not everybody knew. Harvey supported the work fiercely, 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: 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. And If everybody knew, I don’t believe that all the investigative reporters in the entertainment and the hard news media would have neglected for decades to write about it.
The behavior is inexcusable, but the abuse of power familiar. Each brave voice that is raised, heard and credited by our watchdog media will ultimately change the game.