Saturday 21 September 2019

Tom Hanks: There will be no coming back for Weinstein

The star said the recent sexual abuse allegations marked a watershed moment for all industries.

The Graham Norton Show – London
The Graham Norton Show – London

By Francesca Gosling

Actor Tom Hanks has said that there will be no coming back for movie mogul Harvey Weinstein following the torrent of sexual abuse allegations that have emerged against him.

The Oscar-winning star said that the claims, which have since encouraged other stars to speak about their experiences of harassment from bosses, marked a “watershed moment”.

Hanks spoke to BBC Radio 4’s Will Gompertz days after Weinstein was fired from his film firm, The Weinstein Company, and resigned from its board.

A Hologram For The King Premiere – London

Asked if Weinstein could ever return to high esteem in the industry, Hanks said: “No, not at all.”

“I think we are at a watershed moment, this is a sea change. I think his last name will become a noun and a verb. It will become an identifying moniker for a state of being for which there is a before and an after.”

Hanks sits on the board of governors at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, hosts of the prestigious Academy Awards, and said that he “completely agrees” with the organisation’s recent decision to expel Weinstein from its ranks.

He continued: “If Hollywood and the entertainment industry was the only place where sexual harassment occurred, I would say yes (I am complicit in that), but you and I know that that’s not the case; it’s built into the rules of society.

“There is going to be – righteously, I think – a pause in the discussion for the women to be heard, meaning that perhaps all men, myself included, should pipe down and not try to explain it, and not try to comment on it, certainly not try to defend it or even try to prosecute it.

Harvey Weinstein allegations

“What has to happen right now is we need to listen to everyone who has ever been a victim and give them the full-throated opportunity to speak as specifically as they are comfortable to do.”

He added: “Anywhere that there are men in power, there are going to be those types of guys that are sexual predators for the women who work underneath them – and it happens in the homosexual community as well.

“I am trying to figure out if there is a worse word to use than predator, and I don’t think there is in this circumstance.

“There should be a code of ethics posted in every lunch room of every company on the planet, that says ‘here is the behaviour that is expected of you as an employee of this company’.”

A-listers such as Angelina Jolie, Cara Delevingne, Eva Green and Lea Seydoux have made public claims against Weinstein – including an allegation from Rose McGowan that he raped her.

Weinstein, who has “unequivocally denied” allegations of non-consensual sex, is being investigated by the Metropolitan Police after women made five allegations against him spanning from the late 1980s to 2015.

Harvey Weinstein allegations

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (Bafta) has suspended his membership and his British wife, fashion designer Georgina Chapman, announced she is leaving him.

US broadcaster Spike is also investigating claims his younger brother, Bob Weinstein, sexually harassed Amanda Segel, a former executive producer of sci-fi series The Mist.

One of the most recent complaints comes from Russian television personality Katya Mtsitouridze, who told trade magazine The Hollywood Reporter that Weinstein invited her to his hotel room, where he greeted her in a bath robe and asked her for a massage.

Talking of the meeting 13 years ago, she said: “I was frozen into immobility like a statue, because a well-known producer with whom I’ve come to discuss modern Russian writers, was in a bathrobe.

“I was disgusted. (It was) like a scene from a bad movie.”

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