Friday 21 September 2018

A-listers accused of hypocrisy as stars fall silent on claims against powerful mogul

Actress Rose McGowan
Actress Rose McGowan

Nick Allen

Hollywood has been accused of hypocrisy after allegations of sexual harassment against Harvey Weinstein were met with a "deafening silence" from many A-list stars.

Days after the 'New York Times' reported that the movie mogul had reached at least eight legal settlements with women dating back decades, only a smattering of entertainment industry figures stepped up to condemn a man who has long held the power to make or break careers.

Jessica Chastain
Jessica Chastain

Lisa Bloom, a feminist lawyer who had been criticised for her decision to advise Weinstein, announced on Saturday that she was resigning.

But Rose McGowan, who reportedly settled a harassment case against Weinstein in 1997, said she had been expecting fellow actresses to speak out publicly. "Ladies of Hollywood, where are you?" she wrote on Twitter. "Ladies of Hollywood, your silence is deafening."

McGowan (44), best known for her role in the TV series 'Charmed', accused the industry, including agents, directors, producers, studio heads, and the actor's union of a "30-year cover up" which seemingly continued. By Saturday night, those yet to comment publicly on the scandal included a host of actresses who have starred in Weinstein movies.

They included Nicole Kidman, Meryl Streep, and Gwyneth Paltrow, who won an Oscar for the Weinstein-produced 'Shakespeare in Love'.

Only one A-list star, Jessica Chastain, appeared to show support, voicing "respect" for McGowan and Ashley Judd, who told the 'New York Times' Weinstein (65) had sexually harassed her in a hotel.

US President Donald Trump said he was not surprised by allegations that Weinstein sexually harassed women for nearly three decades.

Anthony Bourdain, a high profile celebrity chef, called the Hollywood A-list "nauseating, chicken-hearted enablers all".

He added: "Where's the loud, vocal support for these women? Mostly a shameful silence. I'm talking about all the people who knew and said nothing - and those who are STILL staying silent."

According to the 'New York Times', Weinstein targeted young actresses and his own staff, appearing naked in front of them, and asking them to massage him or watch him shower.

Weinstein has admitted to having caused "a lot of pain" and apologised.

He also threatened to sue the 'New York Times' for "reckless reporting".

In a separate development Lauren Sivan, a television reporter, alleged that Weinstein cornered her in the kitchen of a restaurant in New York, which left her deeply shocked.

Weinstein, a father-of-two married to British fashion designer Georgina Chapman, has been a powerhouse in Hollywood for decades.

He formed the Miramax production house in the late 1970s with his brother Bob, later selling it to Disney and going on to form The Weinstein Company.

He helped propel Oscar-winning movies like 'Good Will Hunting', 'The Artist', and 'The King's Speech'.

Irish Independent

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