George Clooney says Harvey Weinstein accusations are 'indefensible'
'This is harassment on a very high level. And there’s an argument that everyone is complicit in it'
A major report by The New York Times, which documented numerous allegations by women including actors Rose McGowan and Ashley Judd, has since seen Weinstein fired from The Weinstein Company. They stated: "His employment is terminated, effective immediately."
Clooney was offered his big acting break by Weinstein in 1996's From Dusk Till Dawn, and has worked with him multiple times since as both an actor and producer.
"It’s indefensible. That’s the only word you can start with," the actor stated in an interview with The Daily Beast. "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," he added, later on referring specifically to allegations at least eight settlements had been reached with women.
Clooney also defended the likes of Meryl Streep and Judi Dench, who both released statements against Weinstein which claimed they were unaware of the allegations, alongside himself.
"A good bunch of people that I know would say, 'Yeah, Harvey’s a dog' or 'Harvey’s chasing girls,' but again, this is a very different kind of thing," Clooney stated. "This is harassment on a very high level. And 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."
He added only that he hopes that Weinstein's firing can, at least, help fuel a shift in culture that holds abusers accountable and doesn't attempt to silence accusers.
"Maybe that’s what good will come out of this: that not just in Hollywood, although Hollywood is now the focus, but in all of these cases the victims will feel that they will be listened to, and that they don’t need to be afraid," Clooney added.
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