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Ellen Pompeo responds to backlash over old Harvey Weinstein comments

·Editor, Yahoo Entertainment
·4 min read
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Ellen Pompeo is responding to backlash over old comments she made about Harvey Weinstein and #MeToo accusers.

This week, a 2018 clip of the Grey’s Anatomy star discussing the now-convicted rapist, amid a longer conversation about sexual harassment in Hollywood, was resurfaced. In the Oxford Union Q&A panel, Pompeo talked about how women “bear some responsibility” amid #MeToo because it “takes two to tango for sure” before adding “and that’s not to blame the victims.”

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Pompeo was sharing her experience about having a 2-plus hour meeting with Weinstein, who was sentenced to 23 years in prison earlier this year for first-degree sexual assault and third-degree rape. She said she “wouldn’t have gone into that room at night,” as some of his nearly 100 accusers did. She also said she would have fought him off if he tried to attack her — despite accusers detailing the difficulty of doing so as he weighed 300 pounds.

"He did nothing inappropriate toward me, Pompeo said. “Now had he, I would have picked up that glass and smashed him across the side of the face with it.”

In the clip, she went on to say, "It's all what we're willing to tolerate and our self-esteem. And what are we going to put up with and what are we going to compromise to be liked, to be loved, to be accepted. How bad do you want to be in show business?”

See the entire interview here with the full question and answer at 15:21:

This clip was brought to Pompeo’s attention on Twitter and she responded Thursday. She said it was “out of context” and that Twitter wasn’t the right platform to talk about the serious topic, saying victims should seek help from a therapist.

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Pompeo went on to address people “who felt offended,” saying the panel was two years ago and “way before the whole stories of the women came out.” But that timeline is off. Her interview was in May 2018 while Weinstein accusers first started speaking publicly, first to the New York Times and New Yorker, in October 2017.

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Pompeo clarified that she was talking about sexual harassment in Hollywood, not assault.

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Pompeo popped back online shortly after and said that she realized she was incorrect and that accusers had already come forward about Weinstein prior to her interview. However, she said didn’t follow the story — about the 100 accusers detailing decades of abuse — until Weinstein’s trial began.

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Weinstein’s trial began this year and he is now serving 23 years in prison.

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