The very existence of Harvey Weinstein has left almost no one in the Western world untouched. The reported allegations against him opened a floodgate and started a conversation long overdue in Hollywood and elsewhere. The allegations that effectively ended what many say was essentially his reign of terror were the push fed up women needed to tell their own story of rape, abuse, and systemic sexism in the industry.
Harvey Weinstein has become a symbol. Which is why it can be weird to remember that the actual man is still out there.
Unfortunately, he is and we were reminded Thursday when a lawyer for Weinstein named Jennifer Lawrence and Meryl Streep as evidence that the former mogul had decent professional relationships with women.
Weinstein’s lawyer name dropped the stars as an attempt to prove that a class action lawsuit against him would be too sweeping. Streep and Lawrence, however, were not having it. Both disavowed Weinstein within hours of the news breaking.
Weinstein subsequently apologized through a spokesperson.
“Mr. Weinstein has been informed that his civil counsel responded in court to a class action lawsuit which improperly sought to include all actresses who had previously worked with Mr. Weinstein, even where those actresses have made no claim of wrongdoing,” his spokesperson said. “Even though Mr. Weinstein has worked with hundreds of actresses and actors who had only professional and mutually respectful experiences with him, Mr. Weinstein has directed in the future that no specific names be used by his counsel, even where those actors have made previous public statements about him. Mr. Weinstein acknowledges the valuable input both Meryl Streep and Jennifer Lawrence have contributed to this conversation and apologizes. Once again, moving forward, Mr. Weinstein has advised his counsel to not include specific names of former associates; and to avoid whenever possible, even if they are in the public record.”
Unfortunately, Harvey Weinstein is learning that he doesn’t get a cookie just because two of the hundreds of women he has worked with have not publicly accused him of sexual harassment or assault.
Becky Scott is the editor of The Schmooze. Follow her on Twitter, @arr_scott