‘We did not know that women’s silence was purchased by him and his enablers’
From the editors of InStyle US
Words by Jennifer Davis
Meryl Streep has been very vocal about the sexual assault allegations that have rocked Hollywood, but not everyone is pleased with her response regarding Harvey Weinstein.
On Saturday, Rose McGowan, who claims that the disgraced movie mogul assaulted and raped her in the 1990s, took to Twitter to harshly criticise Streep for continuing to work with Weinstein even though rumours swirled about his conduct. She also took issue with a proposed plan to wear black to the Golden Globes to protest the rampant sexism and sexual misconduct in the industry.
‘Actresses, like Meryl Streep, who happily worked for The Pig Monster, are wearing black @goldenglobes in a silent protest. YOUR SILENCE is THE problem,’ McGowan wrote in a now deleted Tweet. ‘You’ll accept a fake award breathlessly & affect no real chance. I despise your hypocrisy. Maybe you should all wear Marchesa.’
On Monday, Streep issued a statement in response to McGowan’s Tweet. ‘It hurt to be attacked by Rose McGowan in banner headlines this weekend, but I want to let her know I did not know about Weinstein’s crimes, not in the 90s when he attacked her, or through subsequent decades when he proceeded to attack others,’ she wrote.
Streep went on to address the capacity in which she worked with Weinstein. She clarified that Weinstein was not a filmmaker but a producer who backed films she made with others. The actress wrote that Weinstein went to great lengths, including hiring Assad spies, to hide his conduct from her as ‘he needed me much more than I needed him.’
Before issuing her statement, Streep attempted to contact McGowan to talk with her after seeing the headlines over the weekend. ‘Through friends who know her, I got my home phone number to her the minute I read the headlines. I sat by that phone all day yesterday and this morning, hoping to express both my deep respect for her and others’ bravery in exposing the monsters among us, and my sympathy for the untold, ongoing pain she suffers.’
Read the full statement below:
‘It hurt to be attacked by Rose McGowan in banner headlines this weekend, but I want to let her know I did not know about Weinstein’s crimes, not in the 90s when he attacked her, or through subsequent decades when he proceeded to attack others,’ Streep said in a statement Monday.
I wasn’t deliberately silent. I didn’t know. I don’t tacitly approve of rape. I didn’t know. I don’t like young women being assaulted. I didn’t know this was happening.
I don’t know where Harvey lives, nor has he ever been to my home.
I have never in my life been invited to his hotel room.
I have been to his office once, for a meeting with Wes Craven for Music of the Heart in 1998.
HW distributed movies I made with other people.
HW was not a filmmaker; he was often a producer, primarily a marketer of films made by other people – some of them great, some not great. But not every actor, actress, and director who made films that HW distributed knew he abused women, or that he raped Rose in the 90s, other women before and others after, until they told us. We did not know that women’s silence was purchased by him and his enablers.
HW needed us not to know this, because our association with him bought him credibility, an ability to lure young, aspiring women into circumstances where they would be hurt.
He needed me much more than I needed him and he made sure I didn’t know. Apparently he hired ex Mossad operators to protect this information from becoming public. Rose and the scores of other victims of these powerful, moneyed, ruthless men face an adversary for whom Winning, at any and all costs, is the only acceptable outcome. That’s why a legal defence fund for victims is currently being assembled to which hundreds of good hearted people in our business will contribute, to bring down the bastards, and help victims fight this scourge within.
Rose assumed and broadcast something untrue about me, and I wanted to let her know the truth. Through friends who know her, I got my home phone number to her the minute I read the headlines. I sat by that phone all day yesterday and this morning, hoping to express both my deep respect for her and others’ bravery in exposing the monsters among us, and my sympathy for the untold, ongoing pain she suffers. No one can bring back what entitled bosses like Bill O’Reilly, Roger Ailes, and HW took from the women who endured attacks on their bodies and their ability to make a living.. And I hoped that she would give me a hearing. She did not, but I hope she reads this.
I am truly sorry she sees me as an adversary, because we are both, together with all the women in our business, standing in defiance of the same implacable foe: a status quo that wants so badly to return to the bad old days, the old ways where women were used, abused and refused entry into the decision-making, top levels of the industry. That’s where the cover-ups convene. Those rooms must be disinfected, and integrated, before anything even begins to change.’