British actress Emma Thompson, in an interview with BBC that aired Thursday evening, said that sexual harassment was “endemic” to the system in Hollywood and there were “many” in the industry similar to Harvey Weinstein.
Weinstein is facing a public outcry after a bombshell New York Times report and subsequent stories detailed allegations against him of sexual harassment and rape over many years, involving prominent actresses such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie.
“I didn’t know about these things but they don’t surprise me at all,” Thompson commented, “and they’re endemic to the system anyway.”
“What I find sort of extraordinary is that this man is at the top of a very particular iceberg,” she said. “I don't think you can describe him as a sex addict. He's a predator, but what he’s at the top of, the ladder of is a system of harassment, and belittling, and bullying, and interference, and what my mother would have referred to in the olden days as 'pestering.''
Emma Thompson tells us the Harvey Weinstein allegations are just the tip of the iceberg of a wider and systemic problem in Hollywood pic.twitter.com/VDxswrUP5Z— BBC Newsnight (@BBCNewsnight) October 12, 2017
“This has been part of our world, women's world, since time immemorial,” she emphasized.
When asked if there were others like Weinstein in Hollywood Thompson replied “of course,” that there were “many.”
“To that degree?” asked the interviewer.
'Maybe not to that degree. Do they have to all be as bad as him to make it count?” Thompson replied. “Does it only count if you really have done it to loads and loads and loads of women? Or does it count if you do it to one woman once. I think the latter.'”
Thompson, like many in Hollywood and the media, also couldn’t resist the opportunity to link Weinstein’s behavior to President Trump saying, “what we need to start talking about is the crisis in masculinity, the crisis of extreme masculinity which is this sort of behavior and the fact that it is not only OK, but it also is represented by the most powerful man in the world at the moment.”
“Perhaps the more of us who say this is endemic, let’s just say it’s endemic,” she reflected on the problem in Hollywood, “I spent my twenties trying to get old men tongues out of my mouth because they just thought well she’s up for it. So I would imagine that that happens really very regularly and so perhaps this is a moment when we can say to men and women: ‘Open your eyes and open your mouths and say something.’”
“One of the big problems,” she emphasized, “about the way in which our systems work at the moment is there are so many blind eyes and we can’t keep making the women to whom this happens responsible. They’re the ones who’ve got to speak, why? We’ve got to look and say ‘this is happening.’”
Her words about the crisis of sexual harassment within the Hollywood elite seemed to resonate with others in the industry.
Emma Thompson is my hero. https://t.co/X2D1UG2LmK— Debra Messing (@DebraMessing) October 12, 2017
‘Do they all have to be as bad as him for it to count?’— Amma Asante (@AmmaAsante) October 12, 2017
- Emma Thompson https://t.co/EQ9T9qaZxq
Emma Thompson is a fierce momma bear. Did BEAUTIFUL CREATURES with her. She’s the best. We should all be so lucky to have her on set with us— Emmy Rossum (@emmyrossum) October 12, 2017