Former President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle have finally broken their silence on Harvey Weinstein, issuing a short statement late Tuesday night condemning the Hollywood mogul and major Democratic donor for his “disgusting” behavior.
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.
Weinstin was a top bundler for both of Obama’s presidential campaigns. His New York City fundraisers, which cost in the tens of thousands to attend, raked in millions for Democrats, including Obama, during his eight years as president.
In 2012, during the re-election cycle, Weinstein “maxed out” donating as much to Obama as the FEC would allow. In total, he spent around $128,000 during that campaign, giving not to just to the president himself, but to PACs and affiliated candidates supporting Obama’s re-election.
The Obamas and Weinsteins shared a personal relationship, as well. Obama’s daughter Malia was (and perhaps still is) an intern for the Weinsten Company in New York, and spent summers during Obama’s tenure working as a personal assistant on Hollywood sets, including for films produced by Miramax. It appears, at least, that perhaps fearing her powerful parents, Weinstein appears to have left Malia alone (thank heavens).
Like Hillary Clinton, though, the amount of money donated seems directly related to how long it takes some Democratic officials to respond. The Obamas waited nearly a week to issue their own strongly-worded statement, but just twelve hours behind Clinton’s.
Neither top Democrat has said anything about returning or donating the cash Weinstein gave to them during their respective campaigns.