News of Harvey Weinstein's multiple sexual harassment accusations and subsequent firing from The Weinstein Company has not only sparked debate about the abuse of power in Hollywood but has lead multiple actors to speak out.
While some directly spoke out about the accusations about Weinstein others spoke more broadly about the larger issue of sexual harassment in Hollywood and beyond -- including many who have worked with Weinstein over the course of their careers.
Mark Ruffalo, who will next be seen as the Hulk in Thor: Ragnarok, is no stranger to using his Twitter to speak out about issues and that includes the Weinstein scandal and what the abuse revelations might mean for real change.
To be clear what Harvey Weinstein did was a disgusting abuse of power and horrible. I hope we are now seeing the beginning of the end of these abuses.— Mark Ruffalo (@MarkRuffalo) October 8, 2017
"To be clear what Harvey Weinstein did was a disgusting abuse of power and horrible. I hope we are now seeing the beginning of the end of these abuses."
Many of the actors who have spoken out about the allegations against Weinstein have professional ties to him. Andy Serkis is well known for playing Gollum in the Lord of the Rings movies, a franchise that Weinstein served as an executive producer for. However, that history didn't stop Serkis from telling Business Insider that there is "no excuse" for predatory behavior within Hollywood's culture.
“I think there's no excuse for a culture that allows for any kind of bullying or coercion or predatory behavior, and I think we are behoove not just in this industry, but across all industries, to be vocal about that and to encourage and help and support people who are brave enough to come out,” Serkis said. “We have to challenge people who are in positions of authority if they behave badly.”
Benedict Cumberbatch is the star in an upcoming Weinstein Company film, The Current War, but that didn't stop the the Doctor Strange actor from telling The Hollywood Reporter that he is "disgusted" by the Weinstein scandal. Cumberbatch also called for people to stand up for those who have spoken out against the former mogul.
"I am utterly disgusted by the continuing revelations of Harvey Weinstein's horrifying and unforgivable actions," Cumberbatch said in a statement obtained by The Hollywood Reporter. "We need to collectively stand up and support victims of abuse such as the brave and inspiring women who have spoken out against him and say we hear you and believe you. That way others may be emboldened by our support to come forward and speak. But we shouldn't wait until there are any more stories like this. We, as an industry and as a society at large need to play our part. There has to be zero tolerance of any such behavior in any walk of life. We owe that to these women's bravery in coming forward."
George Clooney might be the highest profile celebrity to speak out against Weinstein. The Batman & Robin star was given his first major film role by Weinstein, but, as reported by The Daily Beast, the actor had harsh words for his former boss.
“It’s indefensible. That’s the only word you can start with,” he says. “Harvey’s admitted to it, and it’s indefensible. I’ve known Harvey for 20 years. He gave me my first big break as an actor in films on From Dusk Till Dawn, he gave me my first big break as a director with Confessions of a Dangerous Mind. We’ve had dinners, we’ve been on location together, we’ve had arguments. But I can tell you that I’ve never seen any of this behavior—ever.”
It's not just male actors speaking out against Weinstein. Jennifer Lawrence, who won an Oscar for the Weinstein Company's 2012 film Silver Linings Playbook, is also speaking out to both clarify that while she did not experience harassment personally, she stands by the victims.
“I was deeply disturbed to hear the news about Harvey Weinstein’s behavior. I worked with Harvey five years ago and I did not experience any form of harassment personally, nor did I know about any of these allegations,” Lawrence said in a statement. “This kind of abuse is inexcusable and absolutely upsetting. My heart goes out to all of the women affected by these gross actions. And I want to thank them for their bravery to come forward.”
Of all the voices speaking out, Kevin Smith may be one that is feeling the most weight of complicity right now. The writer/director owes his career to Weinstein and, as he told a fan on Twitter today, he feels ashamed to know that his profit ocurreed while others suffered.
He financed the first 14 years of my career - and now I know while I was profiting, others were in terrible pain. It makes me feel ashamed. https://t.co/T0hInW7EqJ— KevinSmith (@ThatKevinSmith) October 9, 2017
"He financed the first 14 years of my career - and now I know while I was profiting, others were in terrible pain. It makes me feel ashamed," Smith wrote.
Julianne Moore also took to Twitter to make her statement about the scandal, though the Kingsman: The Golden Circle actress chose to address not Weinstein himself, but instead chose to speak out in support of those accusing the fomer mogul, including Ashley Judd and Rose McGowan.
1. Coming forward about sexual abuse and coercion is scary and women have nothing to be gained personally by doing so.— Julianne Moore (@_juliannemoore) October 9, 2017
Nicole Kidman also offered her support for Weinstein's accusers as well as women who find the courage to speak out, calling for an eradication of sexual harassment in the workforce.
“As I’ve stated before publicly, I support and applaud all women and these women who speak out against any abuse and misuse of power — be it domestic violence or sexual harassment in the workforce. We need to eradicate this behavior,” Kidman said in a statement.
Harry Potter star Emma Watson, who frequenly speaks out on women's issues, also offered her support to all victims of sexual harassment, posting on Twitter that not only does the abuse need to stop but that she is "awestruck" by the bravery of those with the courage to speak out.
I stand with all the women who have been sexually harassed, and am awestruck by their bravery. This mistreatment of women has to stop.— Emma Watson (@EmmaWatson) October 10, 2017
Suicide Squad star Viola Davis went even further, calling Weinstein a "predator" in a statement to Variety and, in addition to offering support to victims, made it clear that anyone who preys upon others does not get to choose their consequences -- implying that they get what the deserve.
“Our bodies are not the ‘spoils of war’… a trophy to be collected to fuel your ego,” she went on. “It’s OURS!!! It doesn’t belong to you!! And when you take it without permission, it DESTROYS…… like a virus!!!" Davis said in the statement. “To the predators.. Weinstein, the stranger, the relative, the boyfriend…. I say to you, ‘You can choose your sin but you don’t get to choose the consequences.’ To the victims…. I see you. I believe you… and I’m listening."
And it's not just actors speaking out. Filmmakers Scott Derrickson and James Gunn both commented on the scandal.
Derrickson, writer for Doctor Strange, had particularly sharp words, stating that he didn't think the elite would speak out but that he would and he didn't care how that impacted him personally.
I expect the Hollywood elite will remain largely silent about Weinstein. Me, I give zero fucks about any repercussions for condemning him.— Scott Derrickson (@scottderrickson) October 5, 2017
Guardians of the Galaxy filmmaker Gunn, on the other hand, took to Facebook to speak out about the stories his female friends have told him about their own experiences with sexual harassment and express how horrified he is. He also said that sexual predators are hurting not just the victims, but everyone around them.
And they are EVERYWHERE. And they are killing us. When someone is coerced sexually it not only affects that person, but the lives of those around that person, like rows of dominoes falling in every direction. It demolishes trust and comfort in all of society. And evil men are doing this everywhere, every day, in every occupation, and every type of household, all over the world.