Sunday 17 December 2017

Leonardo DiCaprio on Harvey Weinstein: I applaud the women who came forward

Charlize Theron, George Clooney, Meryl Streep and Kate Winslet have all commented on the allegations surrounding the movie mogul.

Leonardo DiCaprio
Leonardo DiCaprio

By Sherna Noah, Press Association Senior Entertainment Correspondent

Leonardo DiCaprio has saluted the “strength” of the women who “made their voices heard” over Harvey Weinstein.

He joined Charlize Theron, Colin Firth, George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Kate Winslet, Dame Judi Dench, Benedict Cumberbatch and Ben Affleck, who have all commented on the allegations surrounding the movie mogul.

In a post on Twitter, DiCaprio wrote: “There is no excuse for sexual harassment or sexual assault – no matter who you are and no matter what profession.

“I applaud the strength and courage of the women who came forward and made their voices heard.”

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Charlize Theron (PA)

His comment came after Theron wrote on Instagram: “The women who have spoken about their abuse are brave and heroic and although I didn’t have a personal experience like this with Harvey Weinstein, I unfortunately cannot say I’m surprised.

“This culture has always existed, not just in Hollywood but across the world. And many men in positions of power have gotten away with it for far too long.”

She added: “We cannot blame the victims here. A lot of these women are young, just starting out in their respective fields, and have absolutely no way to stand up to a man with so much influence much greater than theirs. If they speak up, they are shut down and that could be the end of their career.

“This is all a positive step forward in changing that culture, and these young women need to know that they have a support system should anything like this happen to them. And I want you all to know I support you.”

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Colin Firth said in a statement to The Guardian: “It’s with a feeling of nausea that I read what was going on while I was benefiting from Harvey Weinstein’s support. 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.”

One person to apparently defend Weinstein was actress Lindsay Lohan.

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Lindsay Lohan

In a video, which was later deleted from Instagram, she said: “I feel very bad for Harvey Weinstein right now. I don’t think it’s right what’s going on.

“I think (wife) Georgina (Chapman) needs to take a stand and be there for her husband. He’s never harmed me and done anything wrong to me and we’ve done several movies together.

“I think everyone needs to stop. I think it’s wrong. So stand up.”

Meanwhile Cumberbatch was among those to condemn the producer, saying in a statement: “I am utterly disgusted by the continuing revelations of Harvey Weinstein’s horrifying and unforgivable actions.

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Benedict Cumberbatch

“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 behaviour in any walk of life. We owe that to these women’s bravery in coming forward.”

On Tuesday Weinstein was accused of rape by three women while Hollywood actresses Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow both claimed they had been sexually harassed by him.

A statement released on Tuesday on behalf of the mogul said: “Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr Weinstein.”

Press Association

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