Harvey Weinstein was officially let go from the company he co-founded on Sunday, days after The New York Times published a story exposing nearly three decades of sexual harassment allegations against the film titan.
After days of relative silence, Hollywood’s A-listers have started to speak about the controversy.
Their full statements, given after Weinstein’s firing, are below.
This post will be updated as more statements are made available.
Former President Barack Obama
“Michelle and I have been disgusted by the recent reports about Harvey Weinstein. Any man who demeans and degrades women in such fashion needs to be condemned and held accountable, regardless of wealth or status. We should celebrate the courage of women who have come forward to tell these painful stories. And we all need to build a culture – including by empowering our girls and teaching our boys decency and respect – so we can make such behavior less prevalent in the future.”
- statement provided to CNN
“I was shocked and appalled by the revelations about Harvey Weinstein. The behavior described by women coming forward cannot be tolerated. Their courage and the support of others is critical in helping to stop this kind of behavior.”
– statement via Twitter
“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.”
- statement via Facebook
“I am utterly disgusted by the continuing revelations of Harvey Weinstein’s horrifying and unforgivable actions. 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 behavior in any walk of life. We owe that to these women’s bravery in coming forward.”
– statement via The Hollywood Reporter
“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.”
– statement via Facebook
“We’re all going to have to be more diligent about it and look for any warning signs. Before, people weren’t paying enough attention to it. Now we have to. This is the moment to start scaring people like this into not acting this way anymore.”
– in a lengthy interview with 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.”
– statement to Variety
“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.
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 behavior 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.”
– statement confirmed by CNN and first provided to The Huffington Post
“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.”
– statement via Buzzfeed
“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.”
– statement via Variety
Dame Judi Dench
“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 offences which are, of course, horrifying and I offer my sympathy to those who have suffered, and wholehearted support to those who have spoken out.”
– statement provided to CNN
“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.
Ours is an industry in which very few actors are indispensable and women are cast in far fewer roles than men, so the stakes are higher for women and make them more vulnerable to the manipulations of a predator. I applaud the monumental courage of the women who have spoken up. I hope that their stories and the reportage that gave them their voices represents a tipping point, that more stories will be told and that change will follow.
The changes must be both institutional and personal. Men and women, in positions of power, must create a work environment in which people, whose jobs depend on them, feel safe to report threatening and inappropriate behavior, like that reported in the Times. No one should be coerced into trading personal dignity for professional success. I feel the time is long and tragically overdue for all of us in the industry, women and men, to unite – calmly and dispassionately – and create a new culture of respect, equality and empowerment, where bullies and their enablers are no longer allowed to prosper.”
– statement confirmed to CNN and first published by The New York Times
“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.
I have no doubt that for these women this time has been, and continues to be extremely traumatic. I fully embrace and salute their profound courage, and I unequivocally support this level of very necessary exposure of someone who has behaved in reprehensible and disgusting ways. His behaviour is without question disgraceful and appalling and very, very wrong. I had hoped that these kind of stories were just made up rumours, maybe we have all been naïve. And it makes me so angry. There must be ‘no tolerance’ of this degrading, vile treatment of women in ANY workplace anywhere in the world.”
– statement via Variety
“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.”
“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.”
– statement via New York Times op-ed
“If there is a way to cure yourself of being a predator than I hope harvey learns what it is & shares it with the world. It’s an epidemic.”
– statement via Twitter
Director James Gunn
“…Sexual predation is rife in Hollywood. But it’s also rife EVERYWHERE. As evinced by the stories I heard Friday night, some men – probably a much larger percentage than any of us want to be true – try to coerce women (or children or other men) sexually, and they will try and do so when they get any small amount of power. They are movie stars and network heads and world famous bloggers – but they are also fast food restaurant managers and used car salesmen and, as I learned as a child (and tried to speak out and was shut down), priests.
And they are EVERYWHERE. And they are killing us. When someone is coerced sexually it not only affects that person, but the lives of those around that person, like rows of dominoes falling in every direction. It demolishes trust and comfort in all of society. And evil men are doing this everywhere, every day, in every occupation, and every type of household, all over the world….
…I am hoping with recent truths coming to light, that their reign is coming to an end, in Hollywood, and everywhere. I promise to do everything I personally can to stop it, and I applaud and have deep love for every human being who breaks the silence.”
– statement via Facebook (note: link contains explicit language)
Director Kevin Smith
“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.”
– statement via 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.”
– statement via Twitter
“I worry that when predators like Weinstein go away, the whole web of obstacles for women in business remains. Still lots of work to be done.”
–statement via Twitter