If Harvey Weinstein was born in India, he’d still be partying with stars, says Chinmayi Sripaada
Harvey Weinstein was sentenced Wednesday to 23 years in prison after breaking his courtroom silence with a rambling plea for mercy in which he professed to be "totally confused" by the #MeToo movement that spelled the Hollywood producer's downfall.
His accusers — those who testified against him and many others who have spoken out elsewhere against the former Hollywood mogul — hailed the near-maximum punishment for his rape and criminal sex act convictions as long overdue.
The 67-year-old Weinstein, who arrived at the courthouse Wednesday in a wheelchair and used a walker throughout the trial after recent back surgeries, could spend the rest of his life behind bars.
He was convicted last month of raping a once-aspiring actor in a New York City hotel room in 2013 and forcibly performing oral sex on former TV and film production assistant Mimi Haleyi at his apartment in 2006. He faced a minimum of five years and a maximum of 29 years in prison.
The sentencing was hailed worldwide. “A historical moment today. I am so appreciative of the women and men who spoke up about the abuse and harassment they suffered at the hands of Harvey Weinstein,” wrote actor Reese Witherspoon on Twitter. “This gives me renewed hope in the US justice system that due process works, survivors will be believed, and justice will be served.”
“Today we exhale,” wrote Weinstein accusor Rose McGowan. Singer Chinmayi Sripaada, who was a prominent voice in the India MeToo movement, wrote, “Harvey Weinstein sentenced to 23 years in Prison. This is the time he’d wish he were born in India. Especially in Tamilnadu. He’d have been partying with stars, politicians and have odes written. You’d actually be supported by political parties 100%.” Reacting to this, journalist Rituparna Chatterjee wrote, “We joke because what else can we do? The bitterness and frustration is unfathomable. I feel every word Chin writes here. This country is a sick rehabilitation centre for powerful predators.
Years of whispers about Weinstein's alleged behaviour burst into public view in The New York Times and The New Yorker in 2017. In the aftermath, more than 90 women, including Gwyneth Paltrow, Salma Hayek and other actresses, publicly accused Weinstein of sexual assault and sexual harassment. The takedown energized the #MeToo movement for speaking up about sexual assault.
Time's Up, an organization created in the wake of #MeToo, on Wednesday hailed the women who testified against him for "the impact that they have had on our culture at large.”
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