Oscar winning actor Meryl Streep — and former creative collaborator of producer Harvey Weinstein — has condemned the Hollywood executive after numerous women leveled accusations of sexual assault and misconduct against him.
And people specifically wanted to hear what she had to say, which she acknowledged in an interview with the New York Times published Wednesday.
Meryl Streep discussed Harvey Weinstein
“I really had to think. Because it really underlined my own sense of cluelessness, and also how evil, deeply evil, and duplicitous, a person he was, yet such a champion of really great work,” Streep told the Times.
Streep worked with Weinstein on acclaimed movies like The Iron Lady in 2012 and August: Osage County in 2013, both of which earned her Academy Award nominations. Weinstein was fired from his own company in October following reports of multiple decades of allegations of sexual harassment from female actors and employees. Some women alleged that he invited women to his hotel room, asked for massages and, in one case, asked a woman to watch him shower. A lawyer working for Weinstein said in a statement to the Times that Weinstein “denies many of the accusations as patently false.”
Streep was one of the first in her industry to join the chorus of actors speaking out about Weinstein. But when it came to Weinstein’s behavior, Streep has a message to deliver in her statement: She didn’t know.
Now she’s elaborating:
“You make movies. You think you know everything about everybody. So much gossip. You don’t know anything,” she said. “People are so inscrutable on a certain level. And it’s a shock. Some of my favorite people have been brought down by this, and he’s not one of them.”
Separately, following her viral Golden Globes speech about Trump, people also are looking to her to speak out about politics, a role she was quick to dismiss, instead asking to hear from the first family.
What does Meryl Streep want from Ivanka Trump and Melania Trump?
“I don’t want to hear about the silence of me,” she said. “I want to hear about the silence of Melania Trump. I want to hear from her. She has so much that’s valuable to say. And so does Ivanka. I want her to speak now.”
Meryl Streep discussed Dustin Hoffman
Weinstein isn’t the only man facing allegations of sexual harassment with whom Streep has worked. Streep said that while art can blur lines, during the making of the film Kramer vs. Kramer, Dustin Hoffman crossed the line when he slapped her.
“This is tricky because when you’re an actor, you’re in a scene, you have to feel free,” she said. “I’m sure that I have inadvertently hurt people in physical scenes. But there’s a certain amount of forgiveness in that. But this was my first movie, and it was my first take in my first movie, and he just slapped me. And you see it in the movie. It was overstepping.”
Streep added that she’s optimistic about the future.
“I think those things are being corrected in this moment. And they’re not politically corrected; they’re fixed. They will be fixed, because people won’t accept it anymore. So that’s a good thing.”