Opening his show with the words “Monsterum Maximum” looming over an image of Harvey Weinstein’s face, John Oliver tackled Hollywood’s reaction to “horrifying details” from a growing number of women accusing the producer of sexual harassment, assault, and rape.
“It’s not just his behavior that was troubling. It was the way people around him excused that,” the Last Week Tonight host blasted.
Nothing is more emblematic of that, than the story told by Angie Everhart, who says that while she was sleeping on a boat at the Cannes Film Festival, Weinstein broke into her room and masturbated in front of her.
“I told people on the boat, I told people at the dinner I was at. And everybody was, like, ‘Oh that’s just Harvey’,” Everhart said, in a clip shown by Oliver.
“What the f**k?!” Oliver responded. “So everyone knew, and they just went with it: ‘Oh yeah, Harvey’s going to burst into your room and masturbate. That’s just Harvey. He’s like sex-criminal version of the Kool-Aid Man’.”
Most now have condemned Weinstein’s behavior, but, “incredibly some initially tried to defend him,” Oliver marveled. He singled out Oliver Stone, whose first response had been that, “It’s not easy what he’s going through,” and Weinstein’s longtime friend Donna Karen, who initially suggested, on camera, that some women may be “asking for it” in how they dress and present themselves.
“One: That is absolutely appalling. And, 2: How would Donna Karan know how women are dressing right now? It’s not 1993,” Oliver pointed out.
He quickly noted both Stone and Karan did later apologize for their remarks. And, on Saturday, the [Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences] made a big announcement, with its board of governors voting overwhelmingly to immediately expel Weinstein, saying, “The era of willful ignorance and shameful complicity in sexually predatory behavior and workplace harassment in our industry is over.”
Oliver was not so impressed. “Yes, finally the group that counts among its current members, Roman Polanski, Bill Cosby, and Mel Gibson had found the one guy who treated women badly and kicked him out,” he said. “So, congratulations, Hollywood. See you at the next Oscars where – and this is true – Casey Affleck will be presenting Best Actress.”
Oliver then moved on to President Donald Trump, aka “the silver lining for anyone who died in 2015.”