On Tuesday, hours after Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie shared their own shocking allegations of encounters with Harvey Weinstein, former President Barack Obama issued a statement about the movie mogul and major Democratic donor.
“Michelle and I have been disgusted by the recent reports about Harvey Weinstein,” Obama said in the statement, which was released two days after Weinstein was fired from the company he co-founded. “Any man who demeans and degrades women in such fashion needs to be condemned and held accountable, regardless of wealth or status.”
“We should celebrate the courage of women who have come forward to tell these painful stories,” Obama said, in reference to Ashley Judd, Asia Argento, Rosanna Arquette, Mira Sorvino, and the other aspiring actress, former employees, and other acquaintances who told The New York Times and The New Yorker about their alleged interactions with Weinstein. “And we all need to build a culture—including by empowering our girls and teaching our boys decency and respect—so we can make such behavior less prevalent in the future.”
Obama did not mention his daughter Malia, who interned for Weinstein’s company, or the money raised for Democrats during fund-raisers hosted by Weinstein.
Earlier on Tuesday, Hillary Clinton issued a statement on the subject of Weinstein, saying, “I was shocked and appalled by the revelations about Harvey Weinstein. The behavior described by the women coming forward cannot be tolerated. Their courage and the support of others is critical in helping to stop this kind of behavior.”
This story originally appeared on Vanity Fair.
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