Meryl Streep slams 'inexcusable abuse of power' by Harvey Weinstein: 'Not everyone knew'
Legendary actress Meryl Streep has broken her silence on Harvey Weinstein's firing and the current scandal engulfing Hollywood.
Last week, a New York Times report on Weinstein exposed decades of sexual harassment allegations with women he had worked with, including actress Ashley Judd. In the subsequent days coverage, while describing Weinstein's influence and power over Hollywood, Streep's name has been repeatedly included in subsequent coverage as she once famously referred to him as "God" in an interview.
Today, the Weinstein company announced he has been been dismissed with immediate effect “in light of new information about misconduct”, the board of directors has announced. Streep issued a statement to the Huffington Post, blasting his "inexcusable" behaviour.
"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," she said.
"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 behaviour 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."
The Iron Lady star is a vocal advocate for women's rights in Hollywood and beyond: she targeted US president Donald Trump during her Golden Globes speech and in 2015, she spoke at the inaugural Women in the World event, urging the audience: "Don’t give up the fight. It’s not over."
Reporter Lauren Sivan, who is among the women accusing Weinstein, told NBC it was a horrible kept secret in Hollywood, that he had this type of behavior. People would whisper about it all the time."
Weinstein issued a statement after the publication of the NYT story, apologising, saying: "I came of age in the 60s and 70s, when all the rules about behaviour and workplaces were different. That was the culture then,. I have since learned it’s not an excuse, in the office – or out of it. To anyone."
His lawyer Lisa Bloom announced on Saturday that she had resigned following the allegations.