Dozens of people have launched major allegations against film producer Harvey Weinstein since The New York Times published a chilling article last Thursday detailing multiple sexual harassment claims from women spanning decades. Some of the accounts allege that Weinstein even paid women to drop their sexual harassment claims, which included unwanted physical advances and implied "sex for work" offers.
Each day, more women have come forward to share their harrowing encounters with Weinstein, with three women accusing him of rape in The New Yorker on Tuesday.
Many celebrities, including Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie, have since shared their experiences with Weinstein. Others have vocalised their support and have called for serious changes to be made in the industry, beginning with people believing women who risk their careers to talk about sexual harassment in the workplace.
On Tuesday, former President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama joined the conversation by issuing a statement condemning the film mogul's alleged actions.
"Michelle and I have been disgusted by the recent reports about Harvey Weinstein. Any man who demeans and degrades women in such fashion needs to be condemned and held accountable, regardless of wealth or status," the statement read. "We should celebrate the courage of women who have come forward to tell these painful stories. And we all need to build a culture — including by empowering our girls and teaching our boys decency and respect — so we can make such behaviour less prevalent in the future."
Weinstein, who fundraised for Obama during his presidency, has made significant monetary contributions to Democrats— including 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton — over the years, according to CBS News. But Weinstein's ties to the Obama family don't stop with politics. Malia Obama, the couple's 19-year-old daughter, recently interned at the Weinstein Company in New York.