In an interview with AFP, Gilliam opened up about how he thought certain survivors of Weinstein's alleged sexual harassment and abuse actually benefited from their encounters with the producer and alleged predator. (So far, over 70 women have come out against the disgraced Hollywood titan.)
"It is a world of victims. I think some people did very well out of meeting with Harvey and others didn't. The ones who did knew what they were doing. These are adults, we are talking about adults with a lot of ambition," the Brazil director told the outlet. "Some people paid the price, other people suffered from it... Harvey opened the door for a few people, a night with Harvey — that's the price you pay."
Wow, the way Gilliam describes it, it's almost like Weinstein wielded his power as a gatekeeper in the industry to take advantage of vulnerable people who wanted to work. (Weinstein, through his representatives, has denied any allegations of non-consensual sex.) Sounds like that could be the exact thing people are talking about in the #MeToo movement, which Gilliam went on to describe as a "mob."
In the AFP interview, Gilliam also defended actor Matt Damon, who got some heat for his own controversial comments about the #MeToo movement. ("There’s a difference between patting someone on the butt and rape or child molestation, right?" Damon told ABC’s Popcorn With Peter Travers. He has since apologised for the comment and stated he is now committed to "listening" more to women.)
"I feel sorry for someone like Matt Damon who is a decent human being. He came out and said all men are not rapists, and he got beaten to death. Come on, this is crazy," Gilliam told AFP.
It's more than a little annoying when people spend more time defending problematic comments than they do, say, condemning those who have been accused, repeatedly, of sexual misconduct.
After so many years of not being heard, the women (and men) who have voiced their experiences within the #MeToo movement are finally getting a platform. That's something to celebrate — not be suspicious of. Maybe Gilliam should follow in Damon's footsteps and commit to listening more during this important time in Hollywood history.
We have reached out to representatives for Gilliam and will update this post should we hear back.
If you have experienced sexual violence and are in need of crisis support, please visit the Rape Crisis website.