In an op-ed for The New York Times, the “Girls” creator condemned Weinstein’s behavior and urged the men of Hollywood to speak up in support of the women who’ve come forward with accusations against the producer. She previously spoke out against Weinstein on social media.
“Mr. Weinstein may be the most powerful man in Hollywood to be revealed as a predator, but he’s certainly not the only one who has been allowed to run wild,” Dunham wrote. “His behavior, silently co-signed for decades by employees and collaborators, is a microcosm of what has been happening in Hollywood since always and of what workplace harassment looks like for women everywhere.”
The actress and director made sure to point out the hypocrisy of Hollywood, a “left-leaning industry” that was quick to condemn similar behavior from right-leaning men like Bill O’Reilly, Roger Ailes and President Donald Trump.
“So why the deafening silence, particularly from the industry’s men, when one of our own is outed as having a nasty taste for humiliating and traumatizing women?” she asked.
Dunham went on, writing about her own experience of being sexually harassed by a male director.
″[T]he response by the powers that be was to defend him, question the women ferociously and take ages before letting him go from the network. It was a move based less on his skill than on some ancient loyalty,” she wrote. “It’s that kind of behavior that normalizes this abuse of power.”
The reason I am zeroing in on the men is that they have the least to lose and the most power to shift the narrative, and are probably not dealing with the same level of collective and personal trauma around these allegations. But here we are, days later, waiting for Mr. Weinstein’s most powerful collaborators to say something.
The 31-year-old also apologized for choosing to perform at a benefit for Hillary Clinton, which was organized by The Weinstein Company. Dunham admitted she was aware of the rumors about Weinstein, and while she says she felt the appearance betrayed her values, she “so desperately wanted to support Clinton.”
“I’m sorry I shook the hand of someone I knew was not a friend to women in my industry,” she said, before asking, “Men of Hollywood, what are you sorry for? What will you refuse to accept anymore? What will you say to fill the void and change the standard?”
“When we stay silent, we condone behavior that none of us could possibly believe is O.K. (unless you do). When we stay silent, we stay on the same path that led us here,” she wrote. “Making noise is making change. Making change is why we tell stories. We don’t want to have to tell stories like this one again and again. Speak louder.”
Some men in Hollywood have spoken out against Weinstein’s actions. Director Kevin Smith said he felt ashamed knowing Weinstein financed various films during his career, while George Clooney lambasted the Miramax founder’s behavior as “indefensible.” “Guardians Of The Galaxy” director James Gunn also wrote a poignant statement slamming Weinstein and criticizing “everyone who enabled [Weinstein] to get away with such behavior.”
However, many of the producer’s most famous collaborators, like Matt Damon, David O. Russell, Russell Crowe, Quentin Tarantino, Brad Pitt and Bradley Cooper, have remained silent. Reps for these men did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.
The damning sexual harassment allegations against Weinstein were first published in a bombshell New York Times article last week. Since it was released, a growing number of female celebrities, including Jennifer Lawrence, Olivia Wilde, Meryl Streep and Glenn Close have slammed the producer’s behavior.
In the wake of the report, Weinstein was fired from his production company. The Weinstein Company also reportedly has plans to change its name and according to Deadline, gave studios the go-ahead to remove Weinstein’s executive producer credit from future TV series and film releases.
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