Obamas join voices condemning Harvey Weinstein
FilmMagic/Sylvain Gaboury(WASHINGTON D.C.) — Reaction continues to pour in to the allegations of sexual misconduct against deposed movie mogul Harvey Weinstein.
Former President Barack Obama issued a statement Tuesday evening saying, “Michelle and I have been disgusted by the recent reports about Harvey Weinstein. Any man who demeans and degrades women in such fashion needs to be condemned and held accountable, regardless of wealth or status. We should celebrate the courage of women who have come forward to tell these painful stories. And we all need to build a culture — including by empowering our girls and teaching our boys decency and respect — so we can make such behavior less prevalent in the future.”
Weinstein, has been a major Democratic donor and the Obama’s daughter Malia interned at The Weinstein Company.
Hillary Clinton also spoke out Tuesday a statement tweeted by her communications director Nick Merrill.
“I was shocked and appalled by the revelations about Harvey Weinstein,” read the statement from Clinton, which was later retweeted by her personal account. “The behavior described by women coming forward cannot be tolerated. Their courage and the support of others is critical in helping to stop this kind of behavior.”
Many other actors, actresses and movie executives joined the chorus of condemnation on Tuesday.
In a statement to Variety, Viola Davis wrote, “The predator wants your silence. It feeds their power, entitlement AND they want it to feed your shame,” adding, “To the predators.. Weinstein, the stranger, the relative, the boyfriend…. I say to you, ‘You can choose your sin but you don’t get to choose the consequences.’ To the victims…. I see you. I believe you… and I’m listening.”
Jeffrey Katzenberg, the former chairman of Walt Disney Studios and former CEO of DreamWorks Animation, told The Hollywood Reporter he received an email last weekend from Weinstein requesting that Katzenberg vouch publicly for Weinstein’s character. He shared with the magazine an email response he sent Weinstein that read in part: “…you yourself, in your quotes, have acknowledged that you have behaved inappropriately…so it seems to me we are now down to degrees of horrible.” It continued, “I cannot in any way say this is OK with me…It’s not at all, and I am sickened by it, angry with you and incredibly disappointed in you.”
Leonardo DiCarpio tweeted: “There is no excuse for sexual harassment or sexual assault — no matter who your are and no matter what profession. I applaud the strength and courage of the women who came forward and made their voices heard.”
In a statement provided to Variety, Cate Blanchett wrote: “Any man in a position of power or authority who thinks it’s his prerogative to threaten, intimidate or sexually assault any woman he encounters or works alongside needs to be called to account. It is never easy for a woman to come forward in such situations and I wholeheartedly support those who have.”
Director Ryan Coogler, whose Fruitvale Station was released by The Weinstein Company, provided a statement to The Hollywood Reporter that read in part: “I am disturbed and saddened at the news that several women have been victimized by a person I had come to know through the purchase of my first feature film…. It goes without saying, but I will state it now: sexual harassment is a human rights violation, sexual assault is a human rights violation, rape is a human rights violation. The entertainment industry, like many others, has a historic imbalance of power among gender that allows these violations to run rampant. As men we sit in positions of privilege. It is our responsibility to leverage our position, and be allies to the women in our industry.”
In a statement reported by Deadline, Benedict Cumberbatch wrote: “I am utterly disgusted by the continuing revelations of Harvey Weinstein’s horrifying and unforgivable actions. We need to collectively stand up and support victims of abuse such as the brave and inspiring women who have spoken out against him and say we hear you and believe you….”
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