We can always count on John Oliver to deliver an expletive-laden verbal roasting of the latest outrage du jour. And if seems like there's been a lot of them lately, you're right, the news has been rough for the past couple weeks. Between the Harvey Weinstein allegations, the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico, and the looming threat of nuclear war, we're exhausted.
Last night, John Oliver used his show to go after the Motion Picture Academy. The Academy kicked Harvey Weinstein out after numerous allegations of sexual harassment and assault, writing in a statement that "the era of wilful ignorance and shameful complicity in sexually predatory behaviour and workplace harassment in our industry is over." Except, as Oliver points out, the Academy still counts Roman Polanski, Mel Gibson, and astonishingly, Bill Cosby as current members.
Oliver begins by recounting an allegation from actress Angie Everhart, who said that Weinstein broke into her room and masturbated in front of her while they were on a boat. "I told people on the boat, I told people at the dinner I was at, and everybody was like, 'Oh, that’s just Harvey,'" she recounted. "What the fuck?" exclaims Oliver, "he’s like a sex-criminal version of the Kool-Aid Man." We'd also like to note that Woody Allen, despite allegations of molesting his daughter Dylan Farrow, is also still a member of the Academy.
Watching Oliver's show can be cathartic, because he gets to scream about how ridiculous things are, when sometimes we can't do it ourselves. "It's not just Weinstein's behaviour that was troubling," says Oliver. "It's the way people around him excused it." And he's exactly right. Sexual assault and harassment thrives in environments when people don't speak up. We're both saddened and proud of the victims who've bravely spoken up, but we hope that it leads to actual, lasting change. Not just in Hollywood, but in every place where women work and live.
Watch the video below.
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