Since news of Harvey Weinstein’s prolific sexual misconduct broke, people around the world have been forced to reflect not only on the behavior of people in the entertainment industry, but themselves. Yet despite the groundbreaking revelations, the accusations the scandal has inspired have shown no signs of letting up.
One of Weinstein’s accusers is actress Rose McGowan. Back in October, the Charmed star accused the former movie mogul of raping her in 1997. She revealed that she was told by a lawyer that she was unlikely to get Weinstein convicted for his actions because of who he was. McGowan also claimed that she was “blacklisted” by the after reporting what had happened to her, albeit not publically. Despite being given a small settlement from Weinstein at the time, he has “unequivocally denied” all of the allegations made by 50 plus women against him. Now, the 44-year-old is publically criticizing those in the entertainment industry who appeared to turn a blind eye to Weinstein’s misconduct, which was reportedly well-known in Hollywood. She has made a point of criticizing Meryl Streep in particular. After discovering that a number of actresses including Streep were planning to wear black to the Golden Globes as a mark of solidarity with Weinstein’s victims, McGowan took to Twitter to condemn them for their “hypocrisy”. “Actresses, like Meryl Streep, who happily worked for The Pig Monster, are wearing black @GoldenGlobes in a silent protest,” McGowan wrote in a tweet which has since been deleted. “YOUR SILENCE is THE problem. You’ll accept a fake award breathlessly and affect no real change. I despise your hypocrisy. Maybe you should all wear Marchesa.” However, this was not the first time that McGowan had criticized Streep for her response to the Weinstein scandal. She also expressed her outrage when 68-year-old Streep described his crimes as a “gargantuan example of disrespect”. Streep and Weinstein had worked together on a number of prominent movies including August: Osage County (2013) and The Iron Lady (2011) – the latter of which earned Streep a Best Actress Oscar for her portrayal of the former British prime minister Marget Thatcher. However, not everyone in Hollywood agreed with McGowan’s decision to shame Streep in this way, including actress Amber Tamblyn. Streep did, after all, call the Weinstein accusers “heroes” for having the courage to admit what they had endured. In an interview with the Huffington Post in October, Streep revealed that she had no knowledge of Weinstein’s “disgraceful” misconduct at the time. Thirty-four-year-old Amber Tamblyn, therefore, took to Twitter to defend Streep’s actions, whilst rightfully pointing out the fact that the decision to wear black dresses to the Golden Globes is simply one act in a wider movement which will hopefully inspire real change. To defend Streep, Tamblyn pointed out the fact that she was simply trying to help the movement by agreeing to wear black to the Golden Globes and that McGowan’s criticism of her was uncalled for. Now, Streep has personally responded to McGowan’s criticism, releasing a statement to the Huffington Post about what happened when she worked with Weinstein, reiterating the fact that she was completely oblivious to his crimes. In an attempt to personally make amends with McGowan, Streep has passed on her phone number to her so that they can discuss the situation. The statement comes just days after a source revealed to People that “all female actresses attending the Globes are protesting by just wearing black gowns.”
“It hurt to be attacked by Rose McGowan in banner headlines this weekend, but I want to let her know I did not know about Weinstein’s crimes, not in the 90s when he attacked her, or through subsequent decades when he proceeded to attack others.
I wasn’t deliberately silent. I didn’t know. I don’t tacitly approve of rape. I didn’t know. I don’t like young women being assaulted. I didn’t know this was happening.
I don’t know where Harvey lives, nor has he ever been to my home.”
“I have never in my life been invited to his hotel room.
I have been to his office once, for a meeting with Wes Craven for ‘Music of the Heart’ in 1998.
HW distributed movies I made with other people.
HW was not a filmmaker; he was often a producer, primarily a marketer of films made by other people- some of them great, some not great. But not every actor, actress, and director who made films that HW distributed knew he abused women, or that he raped Rose in the 90s, other women before and others after, until they told us. We did not know that women’s silence was purchased by him and his enablers.
HW needed us not to know this, because our association with him bought him credibility, an ability to lure young, aspiring women into circumstances where they would be hurt.”
“He needed me much more than I needed him and he made sure I didn’t know. Apparently he hired ex Mossad operators to protect this information from becoming public. Rose and the scores of other victims of these powerful, moneyed, ruthless men face an adversary for whom Winning, at any and all costs, is the only acceptable outcome. That’s why a legal defense fund for victims is currently being assembled to which hundreds of good hearted people in our business will contribute, to bring down the b******s, and help victims fight this scourge within.
Rose assumed and broadcast something untrue about me, and I wanted to let her know the truth. Through friends who know her, I got my home phone number to her the minute I read the headlines. I sat by that phone all day yesterday and this morning, hoping to express both my deep respect for her and others’ bravery in exposing the monsters among us, and my sympathy for the untold, ongoing pain she suffers. No one can bring back what entitled bosses like Bill O’Reilly, Roger Ailes, and HW took from the women who endured attacks on their bodies and their ability to make a living.. And I hoped that she would give me a hearing. She did not, but I hope she reads this.”
“I am truly sorry she sees me as an adversary, because we are both, together with all the women in our business, standing in defiance of the same implacable foe: a status quo that wants so badly to return to the bad old days, the old ways where women were used, abused and refused entry into the decision-making, top levels of the industry. That’s where the cover-ups convene. Those rooms must be disinfected, and integrated, before anything even begins to change.”
Whilst, on the surface, McGowan’s criticism of Streep might appear uncalled for, Streep did lead a standing ovation for a man she knew was a convicted rapist and pedophile, director Roman Polanski, in 2003 when he was awarded the Best Director Oscar. The now 84-year-old Polanski was arrested for raping a child in 1977. The incident took place in his friend Jack Nickolson’s hot tub after he gave the 13-year-old in question, Samantha Gailey, drugs. He was charged with six counts of criminal behavior, including rape. Check out this video below which details Streep’s problematic decision to lead a standing ovation for Polanski in 2003:
Polanski initially denied the allegations which had been made against him, and, unlike in the Weinstein case, many big name Hollywood executives came to his defense. However, he later admitted to five of the six charges as part of Gailey’s attorney’s plea bargain. One of the charges which Polanski admitted to was “Unlawful Sexual Intercourse with a minor”. However, the day before he was due to be sentenced in 1978, Polanski fled the United States to avoid his punishment, reportedly saying,”I’ve made up my mind. I’m getting out of here,” and the charges are still pending to this day. Gailey is pictured below as a young girl. Polanski continued working as a director despite being a convicted rapist and pedophile. However, Gailey did force him to pay her a considerable sum in damages, and he was arrested by US authorities in 2009 in Switzerland, but he was ultimately released.