George Clooney is one of the few male celebrities who has spoken out about the culture of sexual harassment in Hollywood. Director James Toback and film producer Harvey Weinstein have been accused of sexual harassment and assault by numerous women, and Clooney has worked extensively with Weinstein in the past.
Now, Clooney reveals that his wife, Amal, 39, has also been the victim of sexual harassment in her professional field.
Page Six reports that Clooney said, of his wife, that "[Amal] is a very smart, very together, very accomplished human rights lawyer and she said, ‘there have been times in my life, in the law community, [that] I had to tell someone to knock it off,’ so it happens everywhere," on a recent episode of Extra. Amal Clooney is a respected human rights and international law barrister in London. He did not elaborate on any specific incidences of sexual harassment that Amal Clooney may have dealt with.
He also had some words for Hollywood at large. "This wasn’t just guys hitting on girls, this is assault," he said. "If we don’t address this and really go after Harvey, it will come back...let’s stop having meetings in hotel rooms — you can have it in the restaurant downstairs...The reality is, it’s not a witch hunt to these women who are trapped in a hotel room and told they’re going to get a part and, suddenly, here comes Harvey Weinstein in his birthday suit. That’s not a witch hunt; that’s an assault."
We'd like to note that, while it's important that George Clooney is speaking up against Weinstein, this is the bare minimum of what Clooney, or any male in Hollywood, could be doing. Words are one thing, action is another. And with Clooney being one of the most influential actors and directors in Hollywood, we're curious about what he plans on doing to ensure the safety of his female costars and crew members. Clooney has yet to speak on any action he plans on doing, or how he intends on changing this culture within his own sphere of influence.
Additionally, we're wondering if Amal Clooney provided consent to her husband to discuss her stories of sexual harassment. It's her story, and only her story to tell. So far, we don't have any evidence that Clooney was given this consent. For him to bring up his wife's experiences feels paternalistic — and makes us think of men who only proclaim to care about sexual assault because they have daughters. Men should care about violence against women because women are human beings, not because they are married to them and/or helped conceive them. If Amal is ready to talk about what happened to her, we will hear her story in her own words.
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