Following reports of sexual assault against powerful Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, celebrities around the world are speaking out and making themselves heard. Some key figures spearheading these talks are Brie Larson, Rose McGowan and Judd Apatow.
Weinstein released an official statement apologizing for his inappropriate behavior towards women in the past according to his publicist. He also said that he will seek therapy. He has a rather hefty track record of complaints, but none of them held enough weight to criminalize him. According to the New York Times, Weinstein allegedly harassed female employees, but he disputed that as well.
In response, many celebrity figures are standing in solidarity with the survivors of sexual assault, as well as its victims.
As always, I stand with the brave survivors of sexual assault and harassment. It's not your fault. I believe you.
— Brie Larson (@brielarson) October 5, 2017
Anyone who does business with __ is complicit. And deep down you know you are even dirtier. Cleanse yourselves.
— rose mcgowan (@rosemcgowan) October 5, 2017
One particular incident detailed in the allegations of Weinstein’s harassment cases occurred about two decades ago. Weinstein invited actress Ashley Judd to the Peninsula Beverly Hills Hotel. What was supposed to be a business meeting took a turn for the worst when he brought her to his room and offered to either give her a massage or have her watch him shower. He allegedly did all this while wearing a bathrobe.
Judd wasn’t his only victim. Emily Nestor, a temporary employee at the time, was invited to the same hotel and offered a career boost if she “accepted his sexual advances.” These incidents didn’t, and it’s rumored that Weinstein kept most of these allegations quiet by paying off officials and women for silence.
Amber Tamblyn, another famous actress, joined the fight by tweeting a chilling truth about the difficulties of coming forward, as well as cementing how brave these women are for bringing Weinstein’s disgusting behavior to light.
Heed the mantra and never forget: Women. Have. Nothing. To. Gain. And. Everything. To Lose. By. Coming. forward. https://t.co/ynKX1bcBkK
— Amber Tamblyn (@ambertamblyn) October 5, 2017
“There is a toxic environment for women at this company,” said Lauren O’Connor, who worked at the Weinstein Company. She later wrote a sexual harassment claim and sent it to executives at the company. According to company officials and a New York Times investigation, Weinstein reportedly bought the silence of at least eight women, including “a young assistant in New York in 1990, an actress in 1997, an assistant in London in 1998, an Italian model in 2015 and Ms. O’Connor shortly after, according to records and those familiar with the agreements.”
According to the New York Times, these undisclosed cases stretch back at least three decades. That’s three decades of unheard women. That’s three decades of unchecked sexual harassment. For what… women? Power? Who in their right mind would reduce a woman’s worth to the point where he thinks a promotion justifies prostitution? In his official statement, Weinstein points out that the rules and behaviors that were deemed acceptable in the workplace were different back then.
“I came of age in the ’60s and ’70s, when all the rules about behavior and workplaces were different. That was the culture then.” he said.
The 70's were 37 years ago. You are blaming growing up in the 70's? You haven't picked up anything since then? https://t.co/7jyVGdphg3
— Judd Apatow (@JuddApatow) October 6, 2017
Here is an excerpt from his statement that the New York Times received regarding these sexual assault allegations.
“Though I’m trying to do better, I know I have a long way to go. That is my commitment. My journey now will be to learn about myself and conquer my demons. . .I’ve brought on therapists and I plan to take a leave of absence from my company and to deal with this issue head on. I so respect all women and regret what happened. I hope that my actions will speak louder than words and that one day we will all be able to earn their trust and sit down together. . .”
Despite releasing an official apology, his lawyer, Lisa Bloom, added that Weinstein “denies many of the accusations as patently false.”