Monday 20 November 2017

Glenn Close condemns 'casting couch' culture and says, 'I'd heard the rumours about Harvey Weinstein'

Glenn Close
Glenn Close

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Glenn Close has reacted angrily to accusations Harvey Weinstein is a serial sexual harasser, revealing she has been aware of the rumours surrounding the film executive for years.

The movie mogul has been ousted as a member of The Weinstein Company board after apologising for his past bad behaviour following the publication of a New York Times expose last week (05Oct17), and now actresses he has collaborated with are speaking out and taking aim.

Following statements from Dame Judi Dench and Meryl Streep, Close has now released her own missive to the Times, admitting she's disturbed by Hollywood's sick "casting couch" culture, where young actresses are expected to perform sexual favours to get ahead.

"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," she writes. "Harvey has always been decent to me, but now that the rumors are being substantiated, I feel angry and darkly sad.

"I'm angry, not just at him and the conspiracy of silence around his actions, but also that the 'casting couch' phenomenon, so to speak, is still a reality in our business and in the world: the horrible pressure, the awful expectation put on a woman when a powerful, egotistical, entitled bully expects sexual favors in exchange for a job."

The Fatal Attraction star adds, "Ours is an industry in which very few actors are indispensable and women are cast in far fewer roles than men, so the stakes are higher for women and make them more vulnerable to the manipulations of a predator."

Applauding the "monumental courage" of the women who have spoken up against Weinstein, she adds, "I hope that their stories and the reportage that gave them their voices represents a tipping point, that more stories will be told and that change will follow."

Meanwhile, Kate Winslet, who won a Best Actress Oscar for her role in The Weinstein Company’s The Reader, has also released a statement, calling Weinstein's alleged behaviour "reprehensible and disgusting".

"The fact that these women (accusers) are starting to speak out about the gross misconduct of one of our most important and well regarded film producers, is incredibly brave and has been deeply shocking to hear," Kate told Variety. "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.”

"I unequivocally support this level of very necessary exposure of someone who has behaved in reprehensible and disgusting ways," she adds. "His behaviour is without question disgraceful and appalling and very, very wrong. I had hoped that these kind of stories were just made up rumours, maybe we have all been naive. 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."

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