Meryl Streep had no idea that Harvey Weinstein was a serial sexual harasser and alleged rapist.
On Monday, Dec. 18, the award-winning actress has issued a statement in response to Rose McGowan's tweet. Streep, who has been quite outspoken about the sexism in the entertainment industry, including the pay disparity between men and women, was criticized by the activist for working with the notorious movie producer despite his sexual misconduct and her silence all these years.
Silence Is Complicity?
McGowan, who is the face and voice of the movement against sexual harassment, called out fellow actors who plan to wear black as a silent protest during the Golden Globes. In a now-deleted tweet, she specifically named Streep who worked with Weinstein on several movies, including Iron Lady and August: Osage County.
Since October this year, several actresses have exposed Weinstein's misconduct for the past 30 years. Gwyneth Paltrow, Lena Headey, Kate Beckinsale, Cara Delevingne, Lea Seydoux, and Salma Hayek shared their horror stories meeting and working with the celebrated movie producer. McGowan herself claimed that she was raped when she was in her 20s.
However, despite the many stories about Weinstein, Streep says that she did not know about the allegations. In a statement sent to The Huffington Post, the actress explains that she disapproves of his actions.
"It hurt to be attacked by Rose McGowan in banner headlines this weekend, but I want to let her know I did not know about Weinstein's crimes, not in the '90s when he attacked her, or through subsequent decades when he proceeded to attack others," the statement reads. "I wasn't deliberately silent. I didn't know. I don't tacitly approve of rape. I didn't know. I don't like young women being assaulted. I didn't know this was happening."
She further claims that she did not experience the same assault as the actresses who once worked with or hoped to work with the movie producer. She says that she has not been to his home nor was she ever invited to his hotel room.
Moreover, she defends her silence all these years. Weinstein's sexual misconducts were treated as an open secret in Hollywood, and actresses such as Jessica Chastain were warned about the movie mogul. However, Streep argues that Weinstein deliberately kept her in the dark because he needed association to lure more aspiring actors into his bed.
The New York Times wrote about the Miramax and The Weinstein Company's founder's "complicity machine" that helped bury his sexual misconduct for decades. He allegedly used his power in the entertainment industry, connections, and his wealth to silence victims or undermine their stories and kill exposés that reveal his true nature.