Meryl Streep condemns Harvey Weinstein

Amy Stevenson

Meryl Streep has slammed Harvey Weinstein's behaviour as "inexcusable" following claims he sexually harassed a number of female employees for almost three decades.

The 68-year-old multi-award winner worked with the film mogul on a number of Hollywood blockbusters including The Iron Lady - which saw her hail him as "God" when she won the 2012 Best Actress Academy Award - and though she insists she never saw any evidence of any "abuse", she praised the women who have come forward to speak about his alleged antics.

Meryl Streep has slammed Harvey Weinstein and labelled his actions

"The disgraceful news about Harvey Weinstein has appalled those of us whose work he championed, and those whose good and worthy causes he supported," Meryl told The Huffington Post in a statement.

"The intrepid women who raised their voices to expose this abuse are our heroes. 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," the Oscar winner continued.

"And if everybody knew, I don't believe that all the investigate reporters in the entertainment and the hard news media would have neglected for decades to write about it. The behaviour is inexcusable, but the abuse of power familiar. Each brave voice that is raised, heard and credited by our watchdog media will ultimately change the game."

Meryl said while she was unaware of Harvey's actions she praised those who have come forward. Source: Getty
The actress praised Harvey as a
Hollywood is in shock after a Times report claimed Harvey subjected actresses and employees to years of sexual harassment. Source: Getty

Meanwhile Oscar nominee Glenn Close, who had worked with the producer many times over the years, has also spoken out admitting she had heard rumours of Harvey's behaviour in the past.

"I'm sitting here, deeply upset, acknowledging to myself that, yes, for many years, I have been aware of the vague rumors that Harvey Weinstein had a pattern of behaving inappropriately around women," the actress told The New York Times in a statement.

"Harvey has always been decent to me, but now that the rumors are being substantiated, I feel angry and darkly sad. I'm angry, not just at him and the conspiracy of silence around his actions, but also that the "casting couch" phenomenon, so to speak, is still a reality in our business and in the world.

"The horrible pressure, the awful expectation put on a woman when a powerful, egotistical, entitled bully expects sexual favors in exchange for a job.

"Ours is an industry in which very few actors are indispensable and women are cast in far fewer roles than men, so the stakes are higher for women and make them more vulnerable to the manipulations of a predator," she continued before praising those who have come forward.

Glenn Close also hit out at Harvey in a lengthy statement. Source: Getty
Glenn and Meryl are some of the biggest names to speak out against Harvey. The producer and actress with Anna Hathaway. Source: Getty

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"I applaud the monumental courage of the women who have spoken up. I hope that their stories and the reportage that gave them their voices represents a tipping point, that more stories will be told and that change will follow.

"The changes must be both institutional and personal. Men and women, in positions of power, must create a work environment in which people, whose jobs depend on them, feel safe to report threatening and inappropriate behavior, like that reported in the Times.

"No one should be coerced into trading personal dignity for professional success. I feel the time is long and tragically overdue for all of us in the industry, women and men, to unite — calmly and dispassionately — and create a new culture of respect, equality and empowerment, where bullies and their enablers are no longer allowed to prosper."

Harvey Weinstein has been fired from his own production company after the allegations of sexual harassment came to light. Source: Getty

Meryl and Glenn's comments come after the 65-year-old award-winning film producer was fired from his own company - The Weinstein Company - with the board of directors saying "in light of new information about misconduct" Harvey no longer had a role at the company, which he founded in 2005 with his brother Robert Weinstein.

"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 company said in a statement.

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