George Clooney has become one of the only men in Hollywood to speak out against Harvey Weinstein — and he's come out swinging against the producer and former executive.
"It's indefensible. That's the only word you can start with," Clooney told The Daily Beast on Monday. "Harvey's admitted to it, and it's indefensible. I've known Harvey for 20 years. He gave me my first big break as an actor in films on From Dusk Till Dawn, he gave me my first big break as a director with Confessions of a Dangerous Mind. We've had dinners, we've been on location together, we've had arguments. But I can tell you that I've never seen any of this behavior — ever."
Weinstein has been accused of allegedly harassing a number of women. The Weinstein Company's board terminated his employment on Monday. Before that, Weinstein took a voluntary leave of absence from the company after The New York Times published a lengthy piece about the sexual harassment allegations. Weinstein's lawyer, Lisa Bloom, also resigned from being his adviser on Saturday.
Female celebrities including Judi Dench and Meryl Streep have spoken out against Weinstein. Ashley Judd also shared a story of Weinstein allegedly setting up a "business meeting" that involved sexual harassment. Jessica Chastain also tweeted what she called a "heart shattering" Vulture article that suggests Matt Damon and Russell may have been involved in killing a 2004 Times article about Weinstein.
In the Daily Beast interview, Clooney also said that sexual harassment is a problem that's "ingrained in our society."
"The reality is that this is a problem deeply ingrained in our society. It was something that was talked about a lot on the left with Roger Ailes, Bill O'Reilly, and Donald Trump, and it's something that's going to be talked about a lot on the right with Harvey Weinstein," Clooney told the outlet. "I think that rather than politicize it, there should be talk on both sides about the really bad behavior by powerful men and the horrible acts they commit. It's pretty crazy to me."
But as The Guardian pointed out on Monday, many male stars were silent on the issue. Hopefully, more men will follow Clooney's (along with Jeff Bridges, James Gunn, Ryan Murphy, Miles Teller, Eric McCormack, Milo Ventimiglia, Kevin Smith, Judd Apatow, Michael Keaton, Seth Rogen, and Mark Ruffalo's) lead.
If you have experienced sexual violence and are in need of crisis support, please call the RAINN Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).
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