Now that more and more damning evidence has surfaced revealing the insidiously creepy nature surrounding movie mogul Harvey Weinstein's alleged sexual harassment, including a bone-chilling audio clip of him trying to lure a model into his hotel room, celebrities have no choice but to speak out and emphatically denounce him.
While no celebrity, other than a seriously disturbed fashion designer who then apologized, has defended Weinstein, they still have to reconcile with the fact they were great friends with the man for as long as 20 years. Many of today's top actors, like Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, owe their careers to Weinstein, and now the question on everyone's mind is how did nobody know about his behavior.
Keeping in line with Meryl Streep, actress Jennifer Lawrence, who won an Oscar for her performance in 2012's Silver Linings Playbook which Weinstein produced, denies ever knowing about the movie mogul's sexual harassment and is shocked by the allegations.
“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,” Lawrence stated. "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."
Actor George Clooney, who has known Weinstein for over 20 years and got his cinematic start with his movie From Dusk 'Til Dawn, also denounced the allegations as "indefensible" while simultaneously denying ever having knowledge.
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.
I’ve heard rumors, and the rumors in general started back in the ’90s, and they were that certain actresses had slept with Harvey to get a role. It seemed like a way to smear the actresses and demean them by saying that they didn’t get the jobs based on their talent, so I took those rumors with a grain of salt. But the other part of this, the part we’re hearing now about eight women being paid off, I didn’t hear anything about that and I don’t know anyone that did. That’s a whole other level and there’s no way you can reconcile that. There’s nothing to say except that it’s indefensible.
A lot of people are doing the “you had to know” thing right now, and yes, if you’re asking if I knew that someone who was very powerful had a tendency to hit on young, beautiful women, sure. But I had no idea that it had gone to the level of having to pay off eight women for their silence, and that these women were threatened and victimized. I’ve been talking with a lot of people about this, and I don’t know many people who knew of that.
There’s an argument that everyone is complicit in it. I suppose the argument would be that it’s not just about Hollywood, but about all of us—that every time you see someone using their power and influence to take advantage of someone without power and influence and you don’t speak up, you’re complicit. And there’s no question about that.
Actor Ben Affleck, who along with Matt Damon, arguably owes his career to Weinstein for producing their Oscar-winning script Good Will Hunting, issued a statement on Facebook expressing sadness and anger over the allegations:
Actor Matt Damon, who is alleged to have helped kill a 2005 story in The New York Times that could have exposed Harvey Weinstein, has yet to comment on the ordeal.