the industry

A-listers Who Worked With Harvey Weinstein Denounce His ‘Vile’ History of Alleged Sexual Harassment

George Clooney. Photo: George Pimentel/WireImage

Following in the footsteps of Meryl Streep, who decried Harvey Weinstein’s “appalling” and “disgusting” history of alleged sexual harassment to the Huffington Post Monday, Kate Winslet, Glenn Close, and Judi Dench have joined the growing cadre of A-listers speaking out against the now-former studio head. In a statement to Variety (you can read the full text here), Winslet admitted to having heard about Weinstein’s alleged pattern of coercive sexual behavior, but chalked it up as gossip she now feels “naive” to have dismissed. “His behaviour is without question disgraceful and appalling and very, very wrong,” she says in part. “I had hoped that these kind of stories were just made up rumours, maybe we have all been naïve. And it makes me so angry. There must be ‘no tolerance’ of this degrading, vile treatment of women in ANY workplace anywhere in the world.”

In her statement made Monday to the New York Times, Glenn Close expressed a similar anger at Weinstein over the allegations made against him, while also admitting that, yes, she too had heard the exact same stories about the studio head. “I’m sitting here, deeply upset, acknowledging to myself that, yes, for many years, I have been aware of the vague rumors that Harvey Weinstein had a pattern of behaving inappropriately around women,” the actress admits. “Harvey has always been decent to me, but now that the rumors are being substantiated, I feel angry and darkly sad.” Close concludes her statement, available here in full, with the hope that Weinstein’s scandal will inspire everyone to appraise their attitudes toward sexual harassment in Hollywood. She writes, “I feel the time is long and tragically overdue for all of us in the industry, women and men, to unite — calmly and dispassionately — and create a new culture of respect, equality and empowerment, where bullies and their enablers are no longer allowed to prosper.”

Dame Judi Dench, meanwhile, told Newsweek that she, like Meryl Streep, had been in the dark about the mounting accusations leveled against Weinstein until last week. “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 offenses which are, of course, horrifying, and I offer my sympathy to those who have suffered, and wholehearted support to those who have spoken out,” she said in a statement. Dench and Weinstein have had a close working relationship for years, from the actress’s turn in Miramax’s 1997 period drama Mrs. Brown to her appearance in this year’s Tulip Fever. Their professional partnership is so important to her, Dench jokingly told the New York Times last month, that she had a temporary tattoo drawn on her “bum” to show her love for the now-disgraced producer. The faux-tattoo read “JD Loves HW.”

Update, October 10, 2017, at 9:55 a.m.: George Clooney has now spoken out against Weinstein, saying that he’d heard rumors of actresses sleeping with the studio boss for roles, but dismissed them as campaigns to discredit the talent of young stars. Clooney described the new allegations as indefensible. “That’s the only word you can start with. Harvey’s admitted to it, and it’s indefensible,” Clooney told the Daily Beast Monday night. “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 behavior — ever.”

Lin-Manuel Miranda, who has a film adaptation of In the Heights in the works with the Weinstein Company, has also said he’s “appalled and repulsed” by the news:

Update, October 10, 2017 at 12:33 p.m.: Ben Affleck worked with Weinstein at the beginning of his career on Goodwill Hunting, the movie for which he won his first Oscar. He issued his own statement on the producer via Twitter, saying, “We must support those who come forward, condemn this type of behavior when we see it and help ensure there are more women in positions of power.”

Update, October 10, 2017 at 1:20 p.m.: Following this morning’s extensive New Yorker report detailing more accusations of sexual assault against Weinstein, the New York Times has reported more accusations from high-profile actresses who worked with Weinstein. Gwyneth Paltrow said that after signing her on for a role at 22, Weinstein brought her in for one of his hotel room meetings and attempted to give her a massage, as well as invite her into his bedroom. She told her boyfriend at the time, Brad Pitt, who confirmed through a representative that he confronted Weinstein about the incident and told him to stay away from Paltrow, but she never reported the harassment and said she was “expected to keep the secret.”

Angelina Jolie also said she had her own “bad experience” with Weinstein — also in a hotel room — during the release of the 1998 movie Playing By Heart, and decided to never work with him again. Rosanna Arquette added her name to the list of Weinstein hotel room encounters, telling the Times that Weinstein greeted her in a bathrobe, asked her for a massage after complaining about neck pain, and then grabbed her hand and put it on his crotch after she deflected his request for the massage. Arquette says she pulled away and then left the room.

In addition to Paltrow, Jolie, and Arquette, actresses Katherine Kendall, Tomi-Ann Roberts, and Judith Godréche shared their stories to the Times. Roberts, who said she found Weinstein nude in a bathtub upon arriving for a scheduled meeting, said her incident took place in 1984 when she was a 20-year-old college junior.

Update, October 10, 2017, at 2:33 p.m.: Actress Rebecca Hall has appeared in two movies distributed by the Weinstein Company, Vicky Cristina Barcelona and Lay the Favorite, and she tells Indiewire in a new interview that while she was never personally harassed by Harvey Weinstein, she was aware of his reputation and protected from him by her team. “The truth is, there have been rumors circulating forever, I’ve known about them,” Hall told Indiewire. “I’ve certainly been quietly protected, without really ever being told why. I certainly was never allowed near a meeting with him on my own, and anything like that. In retrospect, I understand why, even if my representatives weren’t explicitly telling me.”

Update: October 10, 2017, at 4:50 p.m.: In a new statement provided to The Guardian, Colin Firth has given his support to the women coming forward with allegations of abuse. The actor worked with Weinstein on the Oscar-winning movie The King’s Speech. “It’s with a feeling of nausea that I read what was going on while I was benefiting from Harvey Weinstein’s support,” he told The Guardian. “He 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. By coming forward they’ve provided a jolting wake up throughout our industry. I hope it’s going to be a help to others, both in our own industry and elsewhere.”

Update: October 10, 2017, at 6:10 p.m.: Benedict Cumberbatch, who is starring in the Weinstein Company-produced The Current War, has provided a statement to The Hollywood Reporter about the allegations being leveled at Weinstein. “I am utterly disgusted by the continuing revelations of Harvey Weinstein’s horrifying and unforgivable actions,” said the statement. “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. That way others may be emboldened by our support to come forward and speak. But we shouldn’t wait until there are any more stories like this. We, as an industry and as a society at large need to play our part. There has to be zero tolerance of any such behavior in any walk of life. We owe that to these women’s bravery in coming forward.”

Clooney, Winslet Condemn Harvey Weinstein Harassment