Meryl Streep slammed Harvey Weinstein on Monday morning, calling the news of his decades-long sexual harassment "disgraceful." Will other leading actresses follow suit?
"The disgraceful news about Harvey Weinstein has appalled those of us whose work he championed, and those whose good and worthy causes he supported. The intrepid women who raised their voices to expose this abuse are our heroes," Streep told The Huffington Post in an emotional statement.
"One thing can be clarified. Not everybody knew. Harvey supported the work fiercely, was exasperating but respectful with me in our working relationship, and with many others with whom he worked professionally. I didn’t know about these other offenses: I did not know about his financial settlements with actresses and colleagues; I did not know about his having meetings in his hotel room, his bathroom, or other inappropriate, coercive acts. And if everybody knew, I don’t believe that all the investigative reporters in the entertainment and the hard news media would have neglected for decades to write about it," Streep continued.
"The behavior is inexcusable," the Oscar-winning actress concluded, "but the abuse of power familiar. Each brave voice that is raised, heard and credited by our watchdog media will ultimately change the game."
Streep's statement follows a scathing comment by LBJ director Rob Reiner this weekend. “It’s not just our community – this is happening in every workplace in America. It’s disgusting,” Reiner said. “Harvey Weinstein funded the movie The Hunting Ground. How do you do that?! We have to create a safe atmosphere where women are able to tell their stories. ... He’s one schmuck who did what he did. But there are a lot of great people in Hollywood who don’t do stuff like that.”
After The New York Times' bombshell report that eight women connected to Harvey Weinstein settled sexual harassment lawsuits for $80,000 or more over the years, three of the company's board members resigned and the remaining board members voted to terminate Weinstein permanently.
"In light of new information about misconduct by Harvey Weinstein that has emerged in the past few days, the directors of The Weinstein Company — Robert Weinstein, Lance Maerov, Richard Koenigsberg and Tarak Ben Ammar — have determined, and have informed Harvey Weinstein, that his employment with The Weinstein Company is terminated, effective immediately," the Sunday statement read.
There has been growing criticism in the media — particularly among Republicans who saw Hollywood bash Trump for sexual harassment — that more leading actors and actresses haven't come forward to denounce Weinstein's actions.
Though the board took swift action, there are still countless questions looming: Will The Weinstein Company be able to survive without Harvey, who was the leading force at the organization? Will other leading actresses speak out like Streep did? And will more women file lawsuits now that the eight cases have become public?
Do you think it's time for actresses like Julia Roberts, Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman to speak out? Let us know your take in the comments section below!