Oprah Winfrey Speaks Publicly About Harvey Weinstein For The First Time: "This Is A Watershed Moment"
Today Oprah Winfrey appeared on CBS This Morning and spoke publicly for the first time about the recent allegations of sexual misconduct against Harvey Weinstein and the subsequent shift in Hollywood as more and more women come forward with their own stories about their own personal "Harvey Weinstein's" in the industry. Winfrey has appeared in a Weinstein Company film, The Butler, but while she doesn't have a story of her own involving the producer, she was optimistic about the future.
"I’m always trying to look for the rainbow in the cloud, whatever is the silver lining," she said. "And this is what I do know for sure: Something this major happens, when you have the fallout, 50 women coming forward, that it’s a watershed moment."
However, Weinstein isn't the only alleged perpetrator out there. These types of people exist in all industries, and that's what Oprah hopes is revealed through things like #MeToo and the other survivors going public with their experiences.
"I think this is a moment, where no matter what business you work in, the women who not only had the disease to please, that’s a part of it, but who felt that in order to keep my job, to keep my position, in order to keep moving forward…I’ve got to smile. I’ve gotta look the other way. I’ve gotta pretend he didn’t say that. He didn’t touch me," she continued. "Those days are about to be over."
This is especially personal for Oprah, who herself was a victim of child sexual abuse. She's knows first hand what it's like to have these revelations.
"When you feel like you cannot be heard and then other people start speaking out, it makes you feel like 'Oh, now I can speak out, too.'"
During the initial aftermath last week, Oprah posted some preliminary thoughts on Facebook.
"This is the story of one predator and his many victims," she posted, quoting filmmaker James Schamus. "But it is also a story about an overwhelming systemic enabling, and until that story is fully told we will fall far short of stopping future depredations on a similar scale."
Wise words. And, if there's one person whose wisdom we trust, it's Oprah's.