It's been four days since The New York Times aired out Hollywood's open secret for all to see, detailing allegations of sexual harassment against mega-producer Harvey Weinstein by actress Ashley Judd, and other women he worked with.
Some stars have been quick to denounce Weinstein, and voice support for the women coming forward with allegations of sexual harassment. Celebrities like Lena Dunham, Evan Rachel Wood, Rose McGowan, Jessica Chastain, Amber Tamblyn and Mark Ruffalo (among others) have all taken to Twitter to speak out about Weinstein's actions.
But Meryl Streep, who once called Weinstein "God" in her acceptance speech for The Iron Lady at the Golden Globes in 2012, had been silent, until now. In a statement sent to HuffPost by Streep’s publicist Leslee Dart, the actress and icon denies that she knew anything about the allegations, and called the women who spoke up "heroes."
Here's the statement in full:
“The disgraceful news about Harvey Weinstein has appalled those of us whose work he championed, and those whose good and worthy causes he supported. The intrepid women who raised their voices to expose this abuse are our heroes.
One thing can be clarified. Not everybody knew. Harvey supported the work fiercely, was exasperating but respectful with me in our working relationship, and with many others with whom he worked professionally. I didn’t know about these other offenses: I did not know about his financial settlements with actresses and colleagues; I did not know about his having meetings in his hotel room, his bathroom, or other inappropriate, coercive acts. And if everybody knew, I don’t believe that all the investigative reporters in the entertainment and the hard news media would have neglected for decades to write about it.
The behavior is inexcusable, but the abuse of power familiar. Each brave voice that is raised, heard and credited by our watchdog media will ultimately change the game.”
On Thursday, Weinstein announced that he was taking a voluntary leave of absence and acknowledged that he had caused "a lot of pain." But on Sunday, news broke that Weinstein Co, board — which includes Weinstein's brother, Bob — had fired the executive and public face of the company.
"In light of new information about misconduct by Harvey Weinstein that has emerged in the past few days, the directors of The Weinstein Company — Robert Weinstein, Lance Maerov, Richard Koenigsberg and Tarak Ben Ammar — have determined, and have informed Harvey Weinstein, that his employment with The Weinstein Company is terminated, effective immediately," the company's board wrote in a statement.
In the days since the story broke, many women have come forward with their own stories about the Hollywood mogul. With icons like Meryl Streep now taking a stand, who knows how many more will follow.
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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