She denied and denied and denied. Now, she’s paying a price in her reputation.
According to Yahoo News, the Weinstein controversy has taken a severe toll on public perception of acclaimed actress Meryl Streep. Long a champion of feminism and social justice values, many now see Streep as a hypocrite who not only turned a blind eye to the movie mogul’s reputation for treating the film industry like his own personal brothel, but is also playing the American people for fools in thinking that they would believe her blanket denial.
“Not everybody knew,” said Streep in early October. “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.”
For about two months, Streep coasted under the radar, playing the role of master of ceremonies at events while ducking any and all hard questions about her knowledge of Weinstein. Throughout that time, revelations painted a different picture. According to several industry insiders, Weinstein’s behavior was widely known. Maybe not the alleged rapes, but his casting couch predation, his penchant for bullying subordinates, his piggish etiquette at restaurants, well, “everybody f–cking knew” about that. Quentin Tarantino was honest enough to admit it. Even Matt Damon and Ben Affleck eventually partially admitted it after their initial denials were picked apart.
However, as Oscar season approached, Streep seemed poised to escape the Weinstein fire, earning yet another Golden Globe nomination for her role in Spielberg’s “The Post” and laughing it up at Q&A panels alongside Tom Hanks. One of Harvey’s victims, Rose McGowan, took notice and boldly called Streep out on Twitter:
“Actresses, like Meryl Streep, who happily worked for The Pig Monster, are wearing black @GoldenGlobes in a silent protest. YOUR SILENCE is THE problem. You’ll accept a fake award breathlessly & affect no real change. I despise your hypocrisy. Maybe you should all wear Marchesa,” McGowan wrote Saturday in a now-deleted tweet. (“Marchesa” is the fashion line of Weinstein’s estranged wife Georgina Chapman.)
In response, Streep again categorically denied having known anything about Weinstein’s predatory behavior. That did little to stop the fire from spreading. One day later, posters from the acclaimed street artist Sabo began popping up around Los Angeles featuring a photo of Streep practically nestled in Weinstein’s lap with the caption “She Knew” plastered across her eyes.
Speaking with Yahoo News, celebrity branding expert Jeetendr Sehdev did a poll on the actress using 2,000 randomly-selected adults across America. He began the poll in 2012 and does it once a year on various famous figures.
According to Sehdev, 58% of adults “now feel negatively towards the once beloved Streep.”
“Streep’s claims that she didn’t know are ludicrous and the kiss of death for her image in Hollywood,” he said.
Sehdev attributes the backlash to Streep’s playing the public for fools, thinking they were too stupid to see through the ruse.
“Streep needs to apologize to her fans for not telling the truth. And perhaps explain what pressures she was feeling to make such a public statement to begin with,” Sehdev said. “Many people assume that Weinstein reaches out to his close friends to see if they could speak out on his behalf and try to damage control. Were Streep and Clooney part of this pact?”
Feminists have come out to defend Streep in droves, all alleging that Streep is a victim to sexist attacks. Entertainment writer Ira Madison III wrote in the Daily Beast that Streep has been “viciously attacked” by the patriarchy.
“Here we are, attacking a woman for what she may or may not have known, when everyone seems to insist that everyone in the industry knew,” he said. “Why then, have George Clooney or Brad Pitt, not been as viciously attacked as Streep? Why not Bob Weinstein, his own brother, who’s remained relatively unscathed from Harvey’s downfall?”
What is Madison smoking? Clooney’s latest directorial outing, “Suburbicon,” now holds the record for Paramount’s worst box office failure while Bob Weinstein’s company and reputation are ruined beyond repair. Brad Pitt has had no major release in 2017, making the hit on his reputation unmeasurable, and on that score, Pitt is the only known man to have once stood up to Weinstein.
Streep may very well be able to claim total ignorance over Weinstein, which may or may not wash. However, we do have rock solid proof of her defending another industry sexual predator: Roman Polanski. When it comes to her admiration for the admitted child rapist, Streep has no such defense.
Now is the time more than ever to #BoycottMerylStreep.