Rachel Griffiths, the Australian actress who is soon embarking on her feature directorial debut, Ride Like A Girl, came to the defense of fellow Aussie Geoffrey Rush on the red carpet of Oz’s AACTA Awards last night.
Oscar-winner Rush last week stepped down as President of the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts following allegations of “inappropriate behavior” during an Australian stage production of the Shakespeare play King Lear. He has denied the allegations.
In local red-carpet video, Griffiths appeared to distill the situation, saying, “I will say that Geoffrey Rush is not Harvey Weinstein,” referencing the disgraced producer. Griffiths added, “And I’ve had more than a handful of interactions with Harvey Weinstein.”
Griffiths continued, “So in the grey areas that we are talking about again we go back to institutions. What are your processes? How do we report? How do we heal? When there have been transgressions, are there choices beyond a legal framework of recourse versus just to sit down and say ‘That crossed a line for me, I was really uncomfortable’ to say let’s now move on and be very, very clear about what expectations are? That’s no different in my workplace to every workplace that women turn up daily while juggling all their responsibilities to go to work. No one should dread going to work.”
The Six Feet Under and Brothers And Sisters alum added, “The fact that we’re discussing this in what I call the marketplace shows that processes and producers have not been adequate.”
On the same red carpet, Simon Baker, who won the Trailblazer award, said when queried about the current state of the industry, “Everyone deserves the right to feel safe and comfortable in the workplace. That’s absolutely 100% fair. I haven’t been on a set since all this has shaked down… I think it’s great we’re in a watershed moment.”