Meryl Streep has defended herself over accusations by the actress Rose McGowan that she has been silent over Harvey Weinstein’s alleged sexual harassment, implying that she worked with him despite knowing about his reputation.
McGowan slammed Streep following news of a planned protest at the Golden Globes next month, in which actresses are to wear all black in protest against sexual abuse.
The Death Proof star, who alleges that she was raped by Weinstein, let rip in a tweet, which has now been deleted from her account.
“Actresses, like Meryl Streep, who happily worked for The Pig Monster, are wearing black @GoldenGlobes in a silent protest. YOUR SILENCE is THE problem. You’ll accept a fake award breathlessly & affect no real change. I despise your hypocrisy. Maybe you should all wear Marchesa,” she wrote, the last remark referring to the fashion label run by Weinstein’s wife Georgina Chapman.
But Streep has not taken the criticism lying down.
In a statement from her representatives given to the Huffington Post, she said: “”It hurt to be attacked by Rose McGowan in banner headlines this weekend, but I want to let her know I did not know about Weinstein’s crimes, not in the 90s when he attacked her, or through subsequent decades when he proceeded to attack others.
“I wasn’t deliberately silent. I didn’t know. I don’t tacitly approve of rape. I didn’t know. I don’t like young women being assaulted. I didn’t know this was happening.
“Not every actor, actress, and director who made films that HW distributed knew he abused women, or that he raped Rose in the 90s, other women before and others after, until they told us. We did not know that women’s silence was purchased by him and his enablers.
“Rose assumed and broadcast something untrue about me, and I wanted to let her know the truth. Through friends who know her, I got my home phone number to her the minute I read the headlines. I sat by that phone all day yesterday and this morning, hoping to express both my deep respect for her and others’ bravery in exposing the monsters among us, and my sympathy for the untold, ongoing pain she suffers.
“I hoped that she would give me a hearing. She did not, but I hope she reads this. I am truly sorry she sees me as an adversary, because we are both, together with all the women in our business, standing in defiance of the same implacable foe: a status quo that wants so badly to return to the bad old days, the old ways where women were used, abused and refused entry into the decision-making, top levels of the industry. That’s where the cover-ups convene. Those rooms must be disinfected, and integrated, before anything even begins to change.”
Following the statement, McGowan apologised on Twitter.
“The Marchesa line was beneath me and I’m sorry for that. Seeing that picture of Alyssa Milano with GC has ignited something in me that I can’t quite articulate. There is no map for this road I’m on, I will f**k up. Peace be with you, go with Goddess,” she wrote.
Through his lawyers Weinstein continues to deny allegations of non-consensual sex against him.