As the story surrounding Harvey Weinstein’s sexual harassment allegations continues to unfold, more and more prominent figures in Hollywood have come forward to speak out not only against Weinstein but against sexual misconduct in general. George Clooney is the latest to speak his piece on the matter.
Weinstein gave the Academy Award-winning actor and producer his first big break as a film actor in From Dusk Till Dawn and gave him his first directing gig for Confessions of a Dangerous Mind. Needless to say, Clooney developed a close business relationship with Weinstein, but in an interview with The Daily Beast, he did not mince words when it came to the Hollywood mogul’s recent actions. “It’s indefensible. That’s the only word you can start with,” he said. “Harvey’s admitted to it, and it’s indefensible.” He went on to say “I’ve never seen any of this behavior—ever.”
In the interview, Clooney addresses the “I didn’t know about any of this” criticism that many Hollywood figures have been getting since speaking out against Weinstein. He is pretty candid and admits that he has heard the rumors that go back all the way to the ’90s about actresses sleeping with Weinstein to get a role. “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.”
It seems that he was very well aware of Weinstein being a powerful man and hitting on young beautiful women, but “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.” He says that these women were “threatened and victimized” and said that he was talking to many people about this and that not many people knew that it has gone that far.
Clooney goes on to address that Sharon Waxman at The Wrap had the opportunity to publish a story about Weinstein 10 years ago at the New York Times, but the story was killed. However, he mentions that she could have posted it on her own influential site. “I and a lot of other people would have liked to have known it,” he says.
Amidst all the horrible allegations and the hurt the women had to endure, Clooney says that he hopes that good will come out of this and that victims in Hollywood, Silicon Valley, politics and in corporate America will be listened to and that they don’t need to be afraid.
Clooney joins the ranks of other high-profile actors who have come forward about Weinstein including Meryl Streep, Judi Dench, Jessica Chastain, James Gunn, Mark Ruffalo, and others.