Meryl Streep is speaking out against her frequent collaborator Harvey Weinstein after he was accused of decades of sexual harassment.
“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 three-time Oscar winner, 68, said in a statement to HuffPost on Monday, October 9. “The intrepid women who raised their voices to expose this abuse are our heroes.”
Streep and Weinstein, 65, worked together on several films through the years, including The Iron Lady (2011) and August: Osage County (2013). However, she claimed in her statement that she and many others were unaware of the executive’s alleged behavior.
“One thing can be clarified. Not everybody knew,” the actress said. “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.”
She concluded, “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.”
Weinstein initially took a leave of absence from his company on Thursday, October 5, after The New York Times published an extensive report detailing nearly three decades of allegations against him. The report also revealed that the producer reached legal settlements between $80,000 and $150,000 with at least eight women. Weinstein apologized in a statement to the Times, saying, “I came of age in the 60’s and 70’s, when all the rules about behavior and workplaces were different. That was the culture then.” His attorney Lisa Bloom (who has since resigned) said her client “denies many of the accusations as patently false.”
The Miramax cofounder was fired from The Weinstein Company by its board of directors on Sunday, October 8.
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