The Harvey Weinstein files have become the modern-era Watergate equivalent of sexual abuse and misconduct in Hollywood. With scores of women coming forward with their truths, the case keeps getting increasingly horrifying in its intensity. George Clooney and Matt Damon, both of whom have had a close encounter working with the megaproducer in their years since starting in the industry, both came forward in the months since 2017’s media exposes to publicly denounce the former mogul.
This dialogue with the male partisans who have either witnessed or were partially aware of what was happening behind the curtains has been long overdue. And even though there isn’t much that Clooney and Damon can contribute to the debate now, the actors talking about accountability and spreading awareness regarding the abuse are welcome changes.
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George Clooney Opens Up About Harvey Weinstein Scandal
The Harvey Weinstein scandal has rocked the entire industry from the inside out, shaking loose every thread that so much as distantly ties anyone with him together. Quentin Tarantino, who has continued working closely with the producer despite allegations in the years prior to the #MeToo movement, only recently confessed negligence on his part.
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The Pulp Fiction director claimed, “I wish I had taken responsibility” when it came to speaking out about Weinstein – a statement that makes one wonder about the extent to which Tarantino was aware of Weinstein’s misconduct. Soon after the watershed moment of the #MeToo movement in 2017, George Clooney and Matt Damon came forward to speak out on the matter, with Clooney revealing:
“Harvey would talk to me about women that he’d had affairs with. I didn’t necessarily believe him quite honestly, because to believe him would be to believe the worst of some actresses who were friends of mine. The idea that this predator — this assaulter — was out there silencing women like that… it’s beyond infuriating.
There has to be a comeuppance for all of this. All of the people who were part of that chain. And then, we have to make it safe for people to feel that they can talk about it. We’re going to have these discussions, and we’re going to make it harder for it to happen.”
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George Clooney’s statement, no matter how noble in its intention, now feels like it’s too little, too late. The Ocean’s Eleven actor has been an integral part of the industry since the ’90s and with the privilege that comes with such stature as his in Hollywood, standing up for his colleagues who have been subjected to Weinstein’s abuse for years would have been acknowledged and appreciated at a time when a strong and irrefutable testimony was needed.
However, Clooney is making up for his previous silence by going on to call out those who have stood by Weinstein, including esteemed Hollywood director, Woody Allen.
Harvey Weinstein: A Plague Operating From the Shadows
The era predating the #MeToo revolution is a gory battlefield of silenced victims terrorized into submission and retraction. Weinstein’s abuse of women is a reeling case study of the power imbalance that still exists within Hollywood and allows men to exert and exploit their authority and privilege over those that lack agency.
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With social media and the age of instant news taking hold of society, women in droves and multitudes coming forward has stopped the circus at la la land for a transitory moment. The comeuppance that George Clooney speaks of had already begun in the years prior to 2017.
Harvey Weinstein, who has been under investigation by New York, Los Angeles, and London police since he turned himself in in 2018 has most recently been found guilty and convicted of 3 out of 7 charges of r*pe and sexual assault in Los Angeles, and was sentenced to 16 years in prison on top of the 23 years that he is already serving after being convicted of felony s*x crimes in New York.
Source: ABC News