George Clooney's Denouncement of Harvey Weinstein Sends a Clear Message
George Clooney has become one of the few prominent male celebrities in Hollywood who has chosen to speak out against the alleged behavior of producer Harvey Weinstein. Late Monday evening, Clooney gave his statement about Weinstein to the Daily Beast, wherein he opened up about the state of his relationship with Weinstein and his feelings about the allegations of sexual assault made by actors like Ashley Judd and Romola Garai as well as being the center of a New York Times exposé that sources a plethora of testimonies for those in the film industry who speak about the open secret of Weinstein's allegedly abusive behavior. In speaking up about this event currently rocking the film industry, Clooney may have just taken a step in a commendable direction.
Clooney spoke over the phone to a Daily Beast reporter, who was able to detail the actor's full statement, which appears to denounce Weinstein and his alleged actions despite having cultivated a working relationship with the producer over 20 years.
"It’s indefensible [the Beast's emphasis]. That’s the only word you can start with," Clooney began. "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 [the Beast's emphasis]."
Clooney's condemnation of Weinstein is an example of the noticeably small group of male celebrities (which includes Mark Ruffalo, Christian Slater and Seth Rogen) who are coming forward to denounce Weinstein. To the possible dismay of readers, a recent Guardian article made note of the many male celebrities have remained silent about these allegations against Weinstein, with special attention paid to those men who have made statements in the past supportive of women and gender equality.
In the interest of fairness, it should be noted that news of Weinstein's alleged behavior broke on Thursday, Oct. 5, and by Sunday, Oct. 8, he had been fired from his position at his company, The Weinstein Company. Things have moved at an unnaturally fast pace and that may have affected the ability for these men to give their opinions immediately.
Female celebrities, on the other hand, have been quite vocal about Weinstein. While Judd and Garai condemn Weinstein from a personal standpoint, a whole host of female celebrities (including Meryl Streep, Judi Dench, Lena Dunham, Jessica Chastain and Rose McGowan) have immediately come out in public condemnation of Weinstein.
What can be stated confidently is that Clooney's statement is one that should hearten those who are in need of reassurance that those in the film industry have the right outlook on an issue as grave as this.