What Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, and More Are Saying About Harvey Weinstein – Vanity Fair

It started with Rose McGowan and Ashley Judd. When The New York Times released its damning report about Harvey Weinstein’s alleged sexual misconduct last Thursday, those two actresses were the first to speak up: Judd gave the Times an on-the-record interview alleging her own sordid experience with the Oscar-winning producer, a claim that Weinstein vigorously denied. Meanwhile, McGowan—one of eight women to whom Weinstein paid a settlement, according to the Timessounded off on Twitter, amplifying the Times piece. She has since urged people, including her fellow actors, to demand that the remaining board members of the Weinstein Company all resign, using the hashtag #DissolveTheBoard.

In the last few days, several more stars—from Meryl Streep, to Jennifer Lawrence to George Clooney—have stepped forward and spoken out against Weinstein, who has since been fired from his company and ditched by his legal adviser. (He is also pursuing a $50 million lawsuit against the Times for “false and defamatory statements,” per his attorney Charles J. Harder.) Many of the stars releasing statements condemning Weinstein have worked with the industry veteran for years, and their words convey the shock they felt when learning the depth of the allegations against Weinstein, which have spanned nearly the last three decades.

Here’s what Hollywood is saying about Weinstein now:

Leonardo DiCaprio, on Facebook:

“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.”

Cate Blanchett, in a statement to Variety:

“Any man in a position of power or authority who thinks it’s his prerogative to threaten, intimidate or sexually assault any woman he encounters or works alongside needs to be called to account. It is never easy for a woman to come forward in such situations and I wholeheartedly support those who have.”

Viola Davis, in a statement to Variety:

“The predator wants your silence. It feeds their power, entitlement AND they want it to feed your shame. Our bodies are not the ‘spoils of war’… a trophy to be collected to fuel your ego. It’s OURS!!! It doesn’t belong to you!! And when you take it without permission, it DESTROYS…… like a virus!!!”

“To the predators.. Weinstein, the stranger, the relative, the boyfriend…. I say to you, ‘You can choose your sin but you don’t get to choose the consequences.’ To the victims…. I see you. I believe you… and I’m listening.”

Jeffrey Katzenberg, in an email he personally sent to Weinstein, then shared with the Hollywood Reporter. An excerpt:

“You have done terrible things to a number of women over a period of years. I cannot in any way say this is OK with me…It’s not at all, and I am sickened by it, angry with you and incredibly disappointed in you. There appear to be two Harvey Weinsteins…one that I have known well, appreciated and admired and another that I have not known at all.”

Charlize Theron, in a statement to BuzzFeed:

“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. And we cannot blame the victims here. A lot of these women are young and just starting out in their respective fields, and have absolutely no way to stand up to a man with such greater influence than them. 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’m here to support you.”

Nicole Kidman, in a statement to People:

“As I’ve stated before publicly, I support and applaud all women and these women who speak out against any abuse and misuse of power — be it domestic violence or sexual harassment in the workforce,” she said. “We need to eradicate this behavior.”

Matt Damon, in an interview with Deadline:

“Look, even before I was famous, I didn’t abide this kind of behavior. But now, as the father of four daughters, this is the kind of sexual predation that keeps me up at night. This is the great fear for all of us . . . I did five or six movies with Harvey. I never saw this. I think a lot of actors have come out and said, everybody’s saying we all knew. That’s not true.”

(Damon also denied allegedly helping Weinstein kill a 2004 New York Times report about the producer’s behavior.)

Ben Affleck, on Facebook:

“I am saddened and angry that a man who I worked with used his position of power to intimidate, sexually harass and manipulate many women over decades. The additional allegations of assault that I read this morning made me sick. This is completely unacceptable, and I find myself asking what I can do to make sure this doesn’t happen to others. We need to do better at protecting our sisters, friends, co-workers and daughters. We must support those who come forward, condemn this type of behavior when we see it and help ensure there are more women in positions of power.”

Emma Watson, on Twitter:

“I stand with all the women who have been sexually harassed, and am awestruck by their bravery. This mistreatment of women has to stop.”

She later added: “In this instance it was women affected but I also stand with all the men, indeed any person, who has suffered sexual harassment.”

Jennifer Lawrence, per the Daily Beast:

“I was deeply disturbed to hear the news about Harvey Weinstein’s behavior. I worked with Harvey five years ago and I did not experience any form of harassment personally, nor did I know about any of these allegations. This kind of abuse is inexcusable and absolutely upsetting.

My heart goes out to all of the women affected by these gross actions. And I want to thank them for their bravery to come forward.”

George Clooney, in an interview with the Daily Beast. Here’s one excerpt:

“It’s indefensible. That’s the only word you can start with. Harvey’s admitted to it, and it’s indefensible. I’ve known Harvey for 20 years. He gave me my first big break as an actor in films on From Dusk Till Dawn, he gave me my first big break as a director with Confessions of a Dangerous Mind. We’ve had dinners, we’ve been on location together, we’ve had arguments. But I can tell you that I’ve never seen any of this behavior—ever.”

Jessica Chastain, on Twitter.

“I was warned from the beginning. The stories were everywhere. To deny that is to create an enviornment for it to happen again.”

Kate Winslet, to Variety. An excerpt of her long statement:

“The fact that these women 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. 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.”

Michael Keaton, on Twitter:

“H Weinstein -yikes! Disgusting and creepy. So is ‘leader of the free world’ btw.”

Glenn Close, in a statement to The New York Times. An excerpt:

“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. 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.”

Dame Judi Dench, in a statement to Newsweek:

“Whilst there is no doubt that Harvey Weinstein has helped and championed my film career for the past 20 years, I was completely unaware of these offenses which are, of course, horrifying, and I offer my sympathy to those who have suffered, and wholehearted support to those who have spoken out.”

Meryl Streep, to the Huffington Post. An excerpt:

“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.”

Mark Ruffalo, on Twitter:

“To be clear what Harvey Weinstein did was a disgusting abuse of power and horrible. I hope we are now seeing the beginning of the end of these abuses.”

Julianne Moore, in two tweets:

“1. Coming forward about sexual abuse and coercion is scary and women have nothing to be gained personally by doing so.”

“2. But through their bravery we move forward as a culture, and I thank them. Stand with @AshleyJudd @rosemcgowan and others.”

Mindy Kaling, on Twitter:

“There is no incentive for women in Hollywood to come forward to tell lies of a powerful producer sexually harassing them. I believe them.”

Lena Dunham, in an essay for the Times titled “Harvey Weinstein and the Silence of the Men:”

“This past week, reports that Harvey Weinstein had sexually harassed women for years came to light, making it crystal clear that not every woman in Hollywood has had the chance to walk our path. Abuse, threats and coercion have been the norm for so many women trying to do business or make art. Mr. Weinstein may be the most powerful man in Hollywood to be revealed as a predator, but he’s certainly not the only one who has been allowed to run wild. His behavior, silently co-signed for decades by employees and collaborators, is a microcosm of what has been happening in Hollywood since always and of what workplace harassment looks like for women everywhere.”

Kevin Smith, in response to a question on Twitter:

“He financed the first 14 years of my career – and now I know while I was profiting, others were in terrible pain. It makes me feel ashamed.”

Lin-Manuel Miranda, on Twitter:

“I’m as appalled and repulsed by the Weinstein news as anyone with a beating heart. And forever in awe of the bravery of those who spoke out.”

This story will be updated as more stars speak out.

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