Harvey Weinstein sexual harassment scandal: Hollywood reacts

Politicians and celebrities have spoken out in the wake of numerous reports detailing Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein's alleged mistreatment of women.

bombshell New York Times story was published last week describing Weinstein’s alleged sexual misconduct toward women spanning decades. It also said that he has made eight settlements related to the accusations. 

In the fallout from the Oct. 5 story, Weinstein was fired by The Weinstein Company - the studio he co-founded with his brother, Bob - during the weekend. 

Weinstein, the Times report said, settled for $100,000 with “Scream” actress Rose McGowan in 1997 following a hotel room incident. The settlement, however, didn’t admit guilt, the paper described a legal document as saying.

The Times report also described how Weinstein, while in a bathrobe in his hotel room, allegedly asked if he could give actress Ashley Judd a massage or the star could watch him take a shower.

“How do I get out of the room as fast as possible without alienating Harvey Weinstein?” Judd told the newspaper she recalled thinking. 

Subsequent reports detailing Weinstein's alleged misconduct were published Tuesday in The New Yorker and in the Times, the latter reporting that actresses Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow were allegedly harassed by the Hollywood titan. 

Here’s how Hollywood - and Washington - has been reacting to the allegations.

Rose McGowan

“Anyone who does business with __ is complicit,” McGowan tweeted Thursday. “And deep down you know you are even dirtier. Cleanse yourselves.”

McGowan has been active on Twitter in the days since.

“This is about a power structure that needs to be brought down. I cannot thank the women who came forward & the boss writers at #NYT enough,” she said in a Saturday tweet.

She also posted a photo of herself on Twitter Sunday, writing, “This is the girl that was hurt by a monster. This is who you are shaming with your silence.”

Both McGowan and Judd have been thanking celebrities on Twitter who have spoken out in the wake of the article’s publication.

America Ferrera 

"This abuse of power must be called out, however powerful the abuser, and we must publicly stand with those brave enough to come forward," Ferrera tweeted Thursday. 

Brie Larson 

"As always, I stand with the brave survivors of sexual assault and harassment," Larson tweeted Thursday. "It's not your fault. I believe you."

Amber Tamblyn 

"Stand with @AshleyJudd or give your legs to someone else," the actress tweeted Thursday. "What she and others have just done is painful and difficult and triumphant." 

"So now we must say the next thing that needs to be said," she tweeted Tuesday. "It’s times to press charges against Harvey Weinstein."

Hillary Clinton 

Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill on Tuesday tweeted a statement attributed to Clinton. 

"I was shocked and appalled by the revelations about Harvey Weinstein," she said. "The behavior described by women coming forward cannot be tolerated. Their courage and the support of others is critical in helping to stop this kind of behavior." 

Barack and Michelle Obama 

"Michelle and I have been disgusted by the recent reports about Harvey Weinstein," the couple said in a statement. "Any man who demeans and degrades women in such fashion needs to be condemned and held accountable, regardless of wealth or status." 

Lena Dunham 

"The woman who chose to speak about their experience of harassment by Harvey Weinstein deserve our awe," Dunham tweeted Thursday. "It's not fun or easy. It's brave." 

"Grateful for remarkable reporting of @jodikantor & @mega2e," Dunham tweeted Sunday, referring to the Times reporters who worked on the Oct. 5 report. "Because of them the facts could no longer be denied. Now, about the president..."

Seth Rogen

“I believe all the women coming forward about Harvey Weinstein’s sexual harassment,” Rogen tweeted Saturday. “It takes bravery to do so.”

Josh Gad

“As a father of 2 girls, I thank women like @lenadunham @AshleyJudd & @rosemcgowan 4 their candor, bravery & vocalness,” the “Beauty and the Beast” actor tweeted Saturday.

Susan Sarandon

“Huge respect for @AshleyJudd and all the women who broke their silence for the article on Harvey Weinstein. Brave,” Sarandon tweeted Saturday.

Mark Ruffalo

“To be clear what Harvey Weinstein did was a disgusting abuse of power and horrible,” the actor tweeted on Sunday. “I hope we are now seeing the beginning of the end of these abuses.”

Actress Jessica Chastain retweeted Ruffalo’s message Sunday, calling him a “wonderful human.”

Heather Graham

“You're brave @AshleyJudd. I believe you,” the “Boogie Nights ” actress tweeted Sunday.

"In the early 2000s Harvey Weinstein called me into his office. There was a pile of scripts sitting on his desk. 'I want to put you in one of my movies,' he said and offered to let me choose which one I liked best," Graham later wrote in a post to Variety. "Later in the conversation, he mentioned that he had an agreement with his wife. He could sleep with whomever he wanted when he was out of town. I walked out of the meeting feeling uneasy. There was no explicit mention that to star in one of those films I had to sleep with him, but the subtext was there."

Judd Apatow 

"What Harvey Weinstein did was abhorrent. He admits he did it," the director tweeted Sunday. "Why should anyone be silent in their disgust and support for his victims?"

Kevin Smith

“He financed the first 14 years of my career - and now I know while I was profiting, others were in terrible pain,” the “Clerks” director tweeted Monday. “It makes me feel ashamed.”

Emmy Rossum

“The 'old dinosaur' explanation doesn’t cut it,” Rossum tweeted Monday. “DECADES of using power to intimidate women for sexual gain is reprehensible and inexcusable.”

She followed that up with another tweet, which said, “I applaud all women for speaking up. It’s scary to be the first one to speak out against something or someone. But you’re not solo for long.”

Paul Feig

“There is no excuse for monsters like Harvey Weinstein,” the “Bridesmaids” director tweeted Monday. “It’s up to all of us, men and women, to speak up against sexual harassment and abuse.”

Julianne Moore

“1. Coming forward about sexual abuse and coercion is scary and women have nothing to be gained personally by doing so,” the Oscar winner tweeted Monday. “2. But through their bravery we move forward as a culture, and I thank them,” she said in a follow-up message. “Stand with @AshleyJudd @rosemcgowan and others.”

Michael Keaton

“H Weinstein -yikes! Disgusting and creepy. So is 'leader of the free world' btw,” the “Birdman” star tweeted Monday.

Judi Dench

Dench denied knowing about the allegations against Weinstein.

“Whilst there is no doubt that Harvey Weinstein has helped and championed my film career for the past 20 years, I was completely unaware of these offences which are, of course, horrifying and I offer my sympathy to those who have suffered, and wholehearted support to those who have spoken out,” she told Newsweek Monday. 

Dench won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Queen Elizabeth I in the 1998 movie “Shakespeare in Love.” Weinstein was a producer on the film.

Patricia Arquette 

“If there is a way to cure yourself of being a predator than I hope harvey learns what it is & shares it with the world. It's an epidemic,” Arquette tweeted Monday. 

Meryl Streep

In a statement to HuffPost, she called reports of sexual harassment against Weinstein “disgraceful” and said she was unaware of the alleged incidents.

“The behavior is inexcusable but the abuse of power familiar,” she said. Streep praised “the intrepid women who raised their voices.”

Streep also sought to counter the suggestion that everyone in Hollywood knew of Weinstein’s conduct. She said he was “respectful with me in our working relationship.” Weinstein has produced multiple movies starring Streep.

Kate Winslet 

“The fact that these women are starting to speak out about the gross misconduct of one of our most important and well regarded film producers, is incredibly brave and has been deeply shocking to hear,” Winslet said in a statement issued to Variety. “The way Harvey Weinstein has treated these vulnerable, talented young women is NOT the way women should ever EVER deem to be acceptable or commonplace in ANY workplace.”

Glenn Close 

"I’m sitting here, deeply upset, acknowledging to myself that, yes, for many years, I have been aware of the vague rumors that Harvey Weinstein had a pattern of behaving inappropriately around women,” the actress said in a statement to the New York Times on Monday. “Harvey has always been decent to me, but now that the rumors are being substantiated, I feel angry and darkly sad.”

"I applaud the monumental courage of the women who have spoken up," she said later in the statement. "I hope that their stories and the reportage that gave them their voices represents a tipping point, that more stories will be told and that change will follow." 

Jessica Chastain 

"I was warned from the beginning," Chastain tweeted Monday. "The stories were everywhere. To deny that is to create an enviornment for it to happen again."

George Clooney 

"Harvey’s admitted to it, and it’s indefensible. I’ve known Harvey for 20 years," Clooney told The Daily Beast in an interview Monday. He and Weinstein, he recalled, have "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," Clooney said in the interview. "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."

Mindy Kaling 

"There is no incentive for women in Hollywood to come forward to tell lies of a powerful producer sexually harassing them," Kaling tweeted. "I believe them." 

"Why is it helpful men speak up?" she later asked. "Bc that's what this personality fears most: the disintegration of the tacit male support for this behavior." 

Christian Slater 

"The brave actions of the women who went on the record and the journalists that shared their truth have powerfully challenged that paradigm. No woman should fear for her safety in the workplace," the "Mr. Robot" actor said as part of a statement posted to Twitter on Monday. "No man should feel immune from the consequences of his actions. Accountability is essential to destroy the dangerous and persistent idea that some people are above the law." 

Beau Willimon 

"We must believe women who, often at great risk, expose harassment," the "House of Cards" creator tweeted Monday. "Those who spoke out about Harvey Weinstein have shown real courage."

Olivia Wilde 

"1. Let's be clear. What Harvey Weinstein did to those women was nothing short of abuse. I am disturbed, and disgusted. It's appalling," the actress tweeted.

"2. Though I never witnessed it, I stand in solidarity with his victims, and hope their bravery sends a loud message to all abusers of power," she wrote.

"3. The victim blaming needs to stop," Wilde added. "As does the shaming of women who didn't come forward earlier. They spoke, and we are here to listen. "

Lin-Manuel Miranda 

A Twitter user asked Miranda to "explain yourself" on Monday regarding why he didn't comment to The Guardian

"Forgive me," Miranda tweeted Tuesday. "Just woke up to this -- I'd asked my reps to keep any press non-(Puerto Rico) relief-related off my desk. That's my fault.” 

"I'm as appalled and repulsed by the Weinstein news as anyone with a beating heart," he said in another tweet. "And forever in awe of the bravery of those who spoke out."

Jesse Tyler Ferguson 

"My heart breaks for everyone who was hurt by this man. As a actor, a human & a feminist I am standing in support. Always have. Always will," the "Modern Family" actor tweeted Monday. 

Ben Affleck 

"I am saddened and angry that a man who I worked with used his position of power to intimidate, sexually harass and manipulate many women over decades," Affleck tweeted Tuesday. "The additional allegations of assault that I read this morning made me sick."

Affleck got his big break in Hollywood as a writer and actor in "Good Will Hunting," which was produced by Weinstein's former company Miramax Films.

Affleck called Weinstein's behavior "completely unacceptable" and said he's trying to figure out what he can do to prevent this from happening to others. He also says Hollywood needs to do a better job of protecting women.

Jennifer Lawrence 

“I was deeply disturbed to hear the news about Harvey Weinstein’s behavior,” Lawrence said in a statement to People on Tuesday. “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. This kind of abuse is inexcusable and absolutely upsetting.”

Nicole Kidman 

"As I’ve stated before publicly, I support and applaud all women and these women who speak out against any abuse and misuse of power — be it domestic violence or sexual harassment in the workforce,” Kidman said in a statement to Variety on Tuesday. “We need to eradicate this behavior.”

Anthony Bourdain 

".@rosemcgowan has been way out in front of this thing . Took a lot of courage," Bourdain tweeted on Friday. 

Bourdain is in a relationship with the Italian actress Asia Argento. Weinstein allegedly forcibly performed oral sex on Argento, according to a report from The New Yorker

".@AsiaArgento I am proud and honored to know you," Bourdain tweeted Tuesday. "You just did the hardest thing in the world." 

"Can we use the word “rapist” now? #Weinstein," he said in another tweet. 

Charlize Theron 

"The women who have spoken about their abuse are brave and heroic and although I didn’t have a personal experience like this with Harvey Weinstein, I unfortunately cannot say I’m surprised," the Oscar winner said in a Tuesday Instagram post. “This culture has always existed, not just in Hollywood but across the world." 

"A lot of these women are young, just starting out in their respective fields, and have absolutely no way to stand up to a man with so much influence much greater than theirs," she wrote. "If they speak up, they are shut down and that could be the end of their career."

Emma Watson

"I stand with all the women who have been sexually harassed, and am awestruck by their bravery," Watson tweeted Tuesday. "This mistreatment of women has to stop." 

Chloe Grace Moretz 

"The women who have spoken up against one of the most powerful men in our industry are heroes for all women going forward," the actress wrote on Instagram Tuesday. "I stand with them and am sickened by the crimes he committed, I push for a safer workplace for all women."

Benedict Cumberbatch 

"I am utterly disgusted by the continuing revelations of Harvey Weinstein’s horrifying and unforgivable actions," the "Doctor Strange" star said in a statement to the Associated Press. "We need to collectively stand up and support victims of abuse such as the brave and inspiring women who have spoken out against him and say we hear you and believe you."

Viola Davis

"The predator wants your silence. It feeds their power, entitlement AND they want it to feed your shame. Our bodies are not the 'spoils of war'... a trophy to be collected to fuel your ego," Davis said in a lengthy statement to Variety. "It's OURS!!! It doesn't belong to you!! And when you take it without permission, it DESTROYS…… like a virus!!!"

Mandy Moore

“It’s horrible that it took so long for this to come to light, but I feel like there’s going to be a time where there’s just zero tolerance,” Moore told EW Radio. “I really love that now in the day and age of social media and everyone having a voice in this conversation, it’s only going to further change things and not allow this behavior to continue. And women will feel safe and feel heard and understood and empowered.”

Leonardo DiCaprio

"There is no excuse for sexual harrassment or sexual assault - no matter who you are and no matter what profession," DiCaprio said in a tweet. "I applaud the strength and courage of the women who came forward and made their voices heard."

Cate Blanchett

"Any man in a position of power or authority who thinks it's his prerogative to threaten, intimidate or sexually assault any woman he encounters or works alongside needs to be called to account," Blanchett said in an interview to Variety. "It is never easy for a woman to come forward in such situations and I wholeheartedly support those who have."

Ewan McGregor

"Weinstein. It's about time this came to light and he is getting is just deserts. Heard rumours over the years but this is awful. Bye Bully!" the "Trainspotting" actor tweeted Wednesday.

J.K. Rowling

"If the only thing preventing a man committing sexual assault is the presence of witnesses, he's too dangerous to be at liberty," the author tweeted on Wednesday.

Jeff Bridges

"I wish him the best struggling with his demons, but his behavior was terrible. And I wish him - just as being a fellow human being - we are all struggling with different things. And he can struggle with his and come out the other side," Bridges told The Associated Press. 

Seth MacFarlane

"Congratulations, you five ladies no longer have to pretend to be attracted to Harvey Weinstein," McFarlane quipped in 2013 after announcing the women nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.

"In 2011, my friend and colleague Jessica Barth, with whom I worked on the Ted films, confided in me regarding her encounter with Harvey Weinstein and his attempted advances," he tweeted on Wednesday. "She has since courageously come forward to speak out. It was with this account in mind that, when I hosted the Oscars in 2013, I couldn't resist the opportunity to take a hard swing in his direction. Make no mistake, this came from a place of loathing and anger."

"There is nothing more abhorrent and indefensible than abuse of power such as this," he went on. "I respect and applaud Jessica and those sharing their stories for their decision to come forward, and for being champions of the truth."

Harvey Weinstein

“I appreciate the way I’ve behaved with colleagues in the past has caused a lot of pain, and I sincerely apologize for it,” Weinstein told the Times in a Thursday statement. “Though I’m trying to do better, I know I have a long way to go.”

Weinstein later said that he planned to sue the newspaper for $50 million.

“We are confident in the accuracy of our reporting," a New York Times spokesperson said. "Mr. Weinstein was aware and able to respond to specific allegations in our story before publication. In fact, we published his response in full."

The Weinstein Company

Before his firing, Weinstein had taken an indefinite leave of absence following the Oct. 5 Times expose. 

On Friday, the Weinstein Company board endorsed that decision and announced an investigation into the allegations, saying it would determine the co-chairman’s future with the company.

The allegations have triggered movement at the Weinstein Company, and a third of the all-male board has stepped down since Thursday.

Weinstein was fired by his brother Bob and three other directors on the film company’s board. 

“In light of new information about misconduct by Harvey Weinstein that has emerged in the past few days, the directors of The Weinstein Company ... have determined, and have informed Harvey Weinstein, that his employment with The Weinstein Company is terminated, effective immediately,” the company board said in a statement Sunday night.

It issued a separate statement on Tuesday saying:

"The Weinstein Company’s Board of Representatives - Bob Weinstein, Lance Maerov, Richard Koenigsberg and Tarak Ben Ammar -  are shocked and dismayed by the recently emerged allegations of extreme sexual misconduct and sexual assault by Harvey Weinstein. These alleged actions are antithetical to human decency. These allegations come as an utter surprise to the Board. Any suggestion that the Board had knowledge of this conduct is false. 

We are committed to assisting with our full energies in all criminal or other investigations of these alleged acts, while pursuing justice for the victims and a full and independent investigation of our own."

The company may also change its name, according to a report from The Wrap.

Weinstein’s lawyers

The prominent attorney Lisa Bloom, daughter of well-known Los Angeles women’s rights attorney Gloria Allred, on Saturday withdrew her representation of Weinstein, as did another adviser, Lanny Davis.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.