Actress Meryl Streep has condemned Harvey Weinstein’s “abuse of power,” four days after the New York Times published reports alleging that the Hollywood film mogul committed decades of sexual harassment against young women.
In a statement published Monday by the Huffington Post, Streep called the claims against the embattled film boss “inexcusable” and called the women who made the allegations “heroes.”
“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,” the statement reads.
Streep wants one thing “clarified” about Weinstein, “not everybody knew.”
“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,” Streep said.
Streep cast doubt that Hollywood insiders and veteran journalists were, at least somewhat, aware of Weinstein’s alleged behavior and didn’t sound the alarm.
“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 actress said.
That is, however, exactly what’s being reported. One reporter after another claims that senior management at news outlets, like the New York Times, spent years spiking stories about Weinstein using his power to take advantage of young women.
Peter Baker, a Times reporter, said nearly 40 phone calls to Hollywood industry insiders went unanswered.
— Peter Baker (@peterbakernyt) October 9, 2017
Still, Streep says, Weinstein’s “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,” she said.
Streep has worked with Weinstein for years on such films as August: Osage County and her award-winning turn as Margret Thatcher in The Iron Lady, for which she thanked “God — Harvey Weinstein” during her Emmys acceptance speech.
The Oscar-winner joins actresses Brie Larson, Rose McGowan (who was named in the New York Times story as having reached a settlement with Weinstein), Lena Dunham, and Amber Tamblyn in calling out Weinstein. There are still several actresses who worked with the indie filmmaker — Nicole Kidman, Meryl Streep, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Winslet, Cate Blanchett, Anna Paquin, Renee Zelwegger, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Judi Dench, and Penelope Cruz — who have not spoken out against him.