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Benedict Cumberbatch, Ben Affleck, Obamas react to harassment claims against Harvey Weinstein

Harvey Weinstein harassment case: Benedict Cumberbatch, Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, George Clooney, Jennifer Lawrence and more have reacted to the allegations.

hollywood Updated: Oct 11, 2017 14:58 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Benedict Cumberbatch,Ben Affleck,Harvey Weinstein
Harvey Weinstein faces multiple allegations of sexual abuse and harassment from some of the biggest names in Hollywood.(AP)

As more female actors came forward publicly on Tuesday with vivid accounts of sexual harassment by Harvey Weinstein stretching back decades, even more Hollywood celebrities have begun voicing their horror at the allegations.

After Gwyneth Paltrow revealed how she was asked by the producer at just 22 to give him a massage in his hotel room and Angelina Jolie too spoke about going through something similar years ago, actors like Matt Damon and Ben Affleck have also made strong statements condemning Weinstein.

Chapman, who married Weinstein in 2007, told People magazine in a statement released Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2017, that she is leaving Weinstein. She says her heart breaks for all the women who have suffered because of his “unforgivable” actions. She pleaded for privacy for herself and her two young children as allegations against her husband mount. ( REUTERS )

Here’s what everyone has said so far:

Michael D. Eisner, who ran Disney during the Weinsteins’ tenure there, wrote on Twitter on Tuesday: “Fired Weinsteins because they were irresponsible, and Harvey was an incorrigible bully. Had no idea he was capable of these horrible actions.”

Hillary Clinton released a statement saying she was “shocked and appalled by the revelations about Harvey Weinstein.” Weinstein has been a longtime donor to Democratic candidates, and he hosted a fundraiser for Clinton at his New York home last year.

Former President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, also released a statement about Weinstein, saying that “any man who demeans and degrades women in such fashion needs to be condemned and held accountable, regardless of wealth or status.” The Obamas’ older daughter, Malia, was an intern at the Weinstein Co. this year.

Richard Jenkins in an interview with The Associated Press: “People get away with things they think they can get away with. And it’s all part of the... look, we do move forward in the world. I mean, I grew up, I’m 70 years old so I’ve seen a lot of changes in the world. Things I said when I was a teenager, it embarrasses me now that I said those things, but that’s the world I lived in. That’s the world that Donald Trump wants to go back to - let’s make it... 1962 when this film takes place, if you were a white male, life was great. But if you were anybody else, it wasn’t so good. And we just keep trying to make the world good for everybody.”

Rose McGowan, Angelina Jolie Pitt, Asia Argento and Ashley Judd, who are among the many women who have spoken out against Harvey Weinstein in on-the-record reports that detailed claims of sexual abuse. ( AP )

Gretchen Mol, writing in The Hollywood Reporter: “The shameless behavior of this powerful man found shameless co-conspirators in people hiding behind screen handles, who then tried to push their foulness on to women who are blameless.”

Four remaining members of The Weinstein Co. board of directors: “These alleged actions are antithetical to human decency. These allegations come as an utter surprise to the board. Any suggestion that the board had knowledge of this conduct is false. We are committed to assisting with our full energies in all criminal or other investigations of these alleged acts, while pursuing justice for the victims and a full and independent investigation of our own.”

Writer/director Guillermo del Toro in an interview with The Associated Press: “I think that these are charges that need to be faced seriously and things need to be done seriously about it because it’s not an isolated incident that gets solved or two incidents that get solved - it’s an attitude. It’s ingrained. Things are rigged to allow these things to happen and they need to be de-rigged to stop it. It’s not about case by case, it’s a whole attitude. And I think that people that come forward need our support and love and they need to be taken as seriously as you can in whatever your field is. It’s not just movies, it’s the world. Banking, publicity, fashion, you name it — it’s the way the world is rigged and it needs to change, the way we live as a species together, you know? End of story.”

This combination photo shows actresses, top row from left, Gwyneth Paltrow, Rosanna Arquette, Mira Sorvino who are among the many women who have spoken out against Harvey Weinstein in on-the-record reports that detailed claims of sexual abuse. ( AP )

Ben Affleck on Facebook and Twitter: “I am saddened and angry that a man who I worked with used his position of power to intimidate, sexually harass and manipulate many women over decades. The additional allegations of assault that I read this morning made me sick. This is completely unacceptable, and I find myself asking what I can do to make sure this doesn’t happen to others. We need to do better at protecting our sisters, friends, co-workers and daughters. We must support those who come forward, condemn this type of behaviour when we see it and help ensure there are more women in positions of power.”

George Clooney to the Daily Beast:“A lot of people are doing the ‘you had to know’ thing right now, and yes, if you’re asking if I knew that someone who was very powerful had a tendency to hit on young, beautiful women, sure. But I had no idea that it had gone to the level of having to pay off eight women for their silence, and that these women were threatened and victimized.”

Leonardo DiCaprio, in a statement on Twitter: “There is no excuse for sexual harassment or sexual assault — no matter who you are and no matter what professions. I applaud the strength and courage of the women who came forward and made their voices heard.”

Benedict Cumberbatch in a statement: “I am utterly disgusted by the continuing revelations of Harvey Weinstein’s horrifying and unforgivable actions. We need to collectively stand up and support victims of abuse such as the brave and inspiring women who have spoken out against him and say we hear you and believe you. That way others may be emboldened by our support to come forward and speak. But we shouldn’t wait until there are any more stories like this. We, as an industry and as a society at large need to play our part. There has to be zero tolerance of any such behaviour in any walk of life. We owe that to these women’s bravery in coming forward”

Meryl Streep to Huffington Post: “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 behaviour 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.”

Judi Dench in a statement to Newsweek: “Whilst there is no doubt that Harvey Weinstein has helped and championed my film career for the past 20 years, I was completely unaware of these offenses which are, of course, horrifying, and I offer my sympathy to those who have suffered, and wholehearted support to those who have spoken out.”

Jennifer Lawrence to People: “I was deeply disturbed to hear the news about Harvey Weinstein’s behavior,” she said. “I worked with Harvey five years ago and I did not experience any form of harassment personally, nor did I know about any of these allegations. This kind of abuse is inexcusable and absolutely upsetting.” She continued: “My heart goes out to all of the women affected by these gross actions. And I want to thank them for their bravery to come forward.”

Ryan Coogler in a statement: I am disturbed and saddened at the news that several women have been victimized by a person I had come to know through the purchase of my first feature film. While I had no further business dealings with Harvey Weinstein, and no knowledge of this predatory behaviour, my career did benefit from this brief involvement. Because of that, I feel a responsibility to speak up on this issue.

Kevin Smith on Twitter:

(With inputs from AP)

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First Published: Oct 11, 2017 13:36 IST