A lot of men who've worked with Harvey Weinstein have remained alarmingly silent about the allegations of sexual harassment and the pay-outs the now-former film producer made to women over the last 30 years. This is not altogether surprising, but it's still disappointing. That's why it's so refreshing to hear George Clooney's take on the situation, which is that it's "indefensible."
Speaking to the Daily Beast, Clooney, who got both his first major acting role (From Dusk Till Dawn) and his first chance to direct (Confessions of a Dangerous Mind) from Weinstein, didn't try to sugarcoat Weinstein's inappropriate conduct and straight-up harassment of women. While Clooney says he's never seen any of the behavior, he doesn't pretend that it's a case of "Yeah, Harvey’s a dog” or “Harvey’s chasing girls,” (not that that's okay either) as Clooney states many people have said over the years.
Clooney says that he'd heard rumors, going back as far as the '90s, that "certain actresses had slept with Harvey to get a role. It seemed like a way to smear the actresses and demean them by saying that they didn’t get the jobs based on their talent, so I took those rumors with a grain of salt."
He continued, "But the other part of this, the part we’re hearing now about eight women being paid off, I didn’t hear anything that and I don’t know anyone that did. That’s a whole other level and there’s no way you can reconcile that. There’s nothing to say except that it’s indefensible."
As for how Weinstein got away with such despicable behavior for decades, Clooney remarked, "I don’t think that people were looking the other way; I think that people weren’t looking, because in some ways, a lecherous guy with money picking up younger girls is unfortunately not a news story in our society."
Clooney (like most of us) is hopeful that "this kind of behavior will end—or become harder and harder for it to continue." He went on,
What’s important now is that anybody who thinks that they can get away with doing that, they now have to think: Wait, somebody can be recording this or writing a story about it. I’m going to get in a lot of trouble. That’s good, because we’ve seen this type of behavior in politics, in Silicon Valley, and in corporate America. This is a big problem in our society, that people in power are taking advantage of people not in power—particularly powerful men with young women. . .We’re all going to have to be more diligent about it and look for any warning signs. Before, people weren’t paying enough attention to it. Now we have to. This is the moment to start scaring people like this into not acting this way anymore.
You can read the interview in its entirety on the Daily Beast.