Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane has explained why he made a joke about producer Harvey Weinstein while announcing the supporting actress nominations for the Oscars in 2013.
After naming the actresses, he said, “Congratulations, you five ladies no longer have to pretend to be attracted to Harvey Weinstein.”
Following the recent list of sexual assault and harassment allegations levied against Mr Weinstein, Mr MacFarlane explained his joke on Twitter.
“In 2013, my friend and colleague Jessica Barth, with whom I worked on the Ted films, confided in me regarding her encounter with Harvey Weinstein and his attempted advances. She has since courageously come forward to speak out," he said.
“It was with this account in mind that, when I hosted the Oscars in 2013, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to take a hard swing in his direction."
“Make no mistake, this came from a place of loathing and anger,” he added.
Ms Barth has responded to criticism of Mr MacFarlane for not speaking up at the time.
“To the people slamming Seth for not ‘doing’ anything, please STOP! He stood by me and respected my wishes that he not retaliate in any way,” she wrote in a tweet.
Earlier this week, The New Yorker reported an account from Ms Barth about a meeting she had with Mr Weinstein in 2011.
She claimed the producer alternated between offering to cast her in a film and demanding a naked massage in bed.
“So, what would happen if, say, we’re having some champagne and I take my clothes off and you give me a massage?” Ms Barth recalled Mr Weinstein asking. “And I’m, like, ‘That’s not going to happen.’”
Mounting numbers of women are coming forward with allegations of sexual assault and misconduct against Mr Weinstein, most recently model Cara Delevingne.
Angelina Jolie, Ashley Judd and Gwyneth Paltrow have also accused him of harassment.
Mr Weinstein has denied allegations of rape made in The New Yorker magazine.
“There were never any acts of retaliation against any women for refusing his advances,” spokeswoman Sallie Hofmeister said in a statement to the magazine.
“Mr Weinstein obviously can’t speak to anonymous allegations, but with respect to any women who have made allegations on the record, Mr Weinstein believes that all of these relationships were consensual.”
Weinstein has separately issued an apology and said he is going to get therapy.
“I appreciate the way I’ve behaved with colleagues in the past has caused a lot of pain, and I sincerely apologise for it,” he said in a statement issued last week. “Though I’m trying to do better, I know I have a long way to go.”