Earlier today, the New York Times released an exposé detailing decades of sexual-assault allegations against power producer Harvey Weinstein. While denying the allegations via his attorney, Lisa Bloom (who has since left her role as an advisor), Weinstein also apologized for his past behavior, and said he will be taking a leave of absence from his company in order to “deal with this issue head on.” Since the story broke, Weinstein has been removed from the company by its board of directors, and accused of more crimes — including harassment, assault, and rape — by women coming forward in The New Yorker and additional reporting by the Times. In response to the news, many writers, directors, and performers shared their thoughts via statements and social media posts.
Jennifer Lawrence, in a statement to the Daily Beast:
“I was deeply disturbed to hear the news about Harvey Weinstein’s behavior. 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.”
Minnie Driver, in a statement to Variety:
“In light of the revelations about Harvey Weinstein in the past few days, I feel it necessary to add my support for the women who have been victimized and have been brave enough to talk about it,” Driver said in a statement released exclusively to Variety. “While I never experienced any abuse while working with Harvey, I think it’s important to add my voice to those of women everywhere who have experienced abuse at the hands of powerful men.”
Nicole Kidman, in a statement from her publicist:
“As I’ve stated before publicly, I support and applaud all women and these women who speak out against any abuse and misuse of power — be it domestic violence or sexual harassment in the workforce,” Kidman said via a statement released through her publicist. “We need to eradicate this behavior.”
Viola Davis, in a statement provided to Variety:
“The predator wants your silence. It feeds their power, entitlement AND they want it to feed your shame. Our bodies are not the ‘spoils of war’… a trophy to be collected to fuel your ego. It’s OURS!!! It doesn’t belong to you!! And when you take it without permission, it DESTROYS…… like a virus!!! 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.”
Heather Graham, in a column for Variety:
“We don’t want to be attacked for reading into something that may or may not have been there. We don’t want to be looked at as weak for not being able to handle ourselves in a business run by men. We don’t want to lose work by being defined as a Difficult Woman. We don’t want to be the first or only voice in the room.
My hope is that this moment starts a dialogue on redefining sexual harassment in the workplace and empowers women to speak out when they feel uncomfortable in a situation. I hope that dialogue covers the gray areas where we ask ourselves, ‘Did what I think happen just happen?’ and that we are no longer shamed into feeling that we should grow a thicker skin, or that our story ‘isn’t good enough to count.’”
Cate Blanchett, in a statement for Variety:
“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,” Blanchett said.