He’s been in the business for as long as we can remember, but was the one that took it all way too far. The recent exposure of Harvey Weinstein’s decades of sexual harassment, assault, and attempts on the women of Hollywood has finally been uncovered with more and more allegations revealed daily.
His reputation as one of the two legendary Weinstein Brothers and position at the helm of Miramax led him through his Hollywood years as a renowned film producer; giving a female actress a lead role in one of his productions was a golden ticket to fame. It has taken some women 20 years to find the strength to share their stories of the monster who took way too many liberties, and their relief in finding the freedom to speak out is palpable.
Following on from the New York Times damning expose and furthermore, Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow, Cara Delevingne, Rose McGowan and Kate Beckinsale's harassment and abuse claims, many have stepped up and spoken in their defence.
These are the celebrities that have spoken out against the producer.
"I never heard any stories like this - I never heard anything specific - but it's devastating to hear."
"The number one thing that can happen is that people who share their stories, people have to listen to them and trust them, and people have to take it seriously. As important as it is to remain furious about this, it's important to also say that this exists everywhere so remember to look everywhere. This isn't a single incident. This cannot happen, this should not happen, and it happens in every single industry," Blake Lively told Hollywood Reporter.
He may have won an Oscar with Weinstein close by for his role in The King's Speech, but Firth told The Guardian that "with a feeling of nausea I read what was going on while I was benefitting from Harvey Weinstein's support". He also said, "[Harvey] was a powerful and frightening man to stand up to. It must have been terrifying for these women to step up and call him out. And horrifying to be subjected to that kind of harassment. I applaud their courage."
"I stand with all the women who have been sexually harrassed and am awestruck by their bravery. This mistreatment of women has to stop," Emma Watson wrote on Twitter.
"In this instance, it was women affected but I also stand with all the men, indeed any person, who has suffered sexual harassment," she added. Emma starred in Weinstein's production of My Week With Marilyn.
"Look, even before I was famous, I didn’t abide this kind of behaviour. But now, as the father of four daughters, this is the kind of sexual predation that keeps me up at night. This is the great fear for all of us." Matt Damon told Deadline.
"I am saddened and angry that a man who I worked with used his position of power to intimidate, sexually harass and manipulate many women over decades. The additional allegations of assault that I read this morning made me sick. This is completely unacceptable, and I find myself asking what I can do to make sure this doesn't happen to others. We need to do better at protecting our sisters, friends, co-workers and daughters. We must support those who come forward, condemn this type of behaviour when we see it and help ensure there are more women in positions of power," Ben Affleck wrote on Twitter.
Fans then reminded him of the time he grabbed a woman's breast on live TV...
“I was deeply disturbed to hear the news about Harvey Weinstein’s behaviour. I worked with Harvey five years ago and I did not experience any form of harassment personally, nor did I know about any of these allegations. This kind of abuse is inexcusable and absolutely upsetting.”
“My heart goes out to all of the women affected by these gross actions. And I want to thank them for their bravery to come forward,” Jennifer Lawrence told E! News.
Dame Judi Dench
Having worked numerous times with Weinstein, Dench released a statement to CNN: "Whilst there is no doubt that Harvey Weinstein has helped and championed my film career for the past 20 years, I was completely unaware of these offences which are, of course, horrifying and I offer my sympathy to those who have suffered, and wholehearted support to those who have spoken out."
"I was warned from the beginning. The stories were everywhere. To deny that is to create an environment for it to happen again," Chastain said on Twitter.
"The fact that these women are starting to speak out about the gross misconduct of one of our most important and well-regardedd film producers, is incredibly brave and has been deeply shocking to hear. The way Harvey Weinstein has treated these vulnerable, talented young women is NOT the way women should ever EVER deem to be acceptable or commonplace in ANY workplace," Winslet said to Variety.
"To be clear what Harvey Weinstein did was a disgusting abuse of power and horrible. I hope we are now seeing the beginning of the end of these abuses," Mark Ruffalo said on Twitter.
One of Hollywood's most beloved actresses, who is never afraid to speak her mind, gave a statement to The Huffington Post:
“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.”
“It’s indefensible. That’s the only word you can start with. Harvey’s admitted to it, and it’s indefensible. I’ve known Harvey for 20 years. He gave me my first big break as an actor in films on From Dusk Till Dawn, he gave me my first big break as a director with Confessions of a Dangerous Mind. We’ve had dinners, we’ve been on location together, we’ve had arguments. But I can tell you that I’ve never seen any of this behaviour - ever," Clooney told the Daily Beast.
"As always, I stand with the brave survivors of sexual assault and harassment. It's not your fault," Larson said on Twitter.
"Why is it helpful men speak up? Bc that's what this personality fears most: the disintegration of the tacit male support for this behaviour," Mindy said on Twitter.
With Weinstein's regular donations to the Democrat party, and Malia Obama's recent internship with the Weinstein Company, Barack Obama issued this statement:
"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."
The latest to release her statement, Thompson spoke to The Daily Mail, and of course was her brilliant bold self.
"Of course...I spent my 20s trying to keep old men's tongues out of my mouth", she said when asked if there were others like Weinstein in the industry. She also said: I don't think you can describe him as a sex addict. He's a predator. He's an actual predator, he's dangerous and what he's done and what he's doing is criminal."
"What I find sort of extraordinary is that this man is at the top of a very particular iceberg...At the top of the ladder is a system of harassment, and belittling, and bullying, and interference, and what my mother would have referred to in the old days as 'pestering'."
Gosling was another to take to Twitter with his support. “I want to add my voice of support for the women who have had the courage to speak out against Harvey Weinstein,” he wrote. “Like most people in Hollywood, I have worked with him and I’m deeply disappointed in myself for being so oblivious to these devastating experiences of sexual harassment and abuse. He is emblematic of a systemic problem. Men should stand with women and work together until there is real accountability and change.”
DiCaprio said his peace with the matter through a Facebook post earlier this week, but played it subtle with no direct reference to Weinstein himself. “There is no excuse for sexual harassment or sexual assault— no matter who you are and no matter what profession.” he shared. “I applaud the strength and courage of the women who came forward and made their voices heard”.