Emma Thompson says Harvey Weinstein is just one example of a “public health crisis”
Although British actress, writer and screenwriter Emma Thompson did not know producer Harvey Weinstein was a sexual predator before he was ‘outed’earlier in the month, in an interview with the BBC’s Newsnight this week, Thompson said she was not surprised.
“His bullying behavior patterns also existed in his business work”, said Thompson, who acted and wrote the movie Nanny McPhee, which was owned by Miramax for a while. Miramax, of course, was founded by brothers Bob and Harvey Weinstein.
“And so really my main contact with him was shouting at him down the phone that I never wanted to work with him, never ever ever. And so when I came into rooms where he was, which often happened, he would look well…actually frightened. Because I think that’s the sort of thing that happens. If you call a bully on their behavior, they tend to avoid you”.
But as far as Weinstein being a sexual predator, Thompson admitted she didn’t know about that.
“But, that didn’t surprise me at all. And it’s endemic to the system anyway. What I find sort of extraordinary is that this man is at the top of a very particular iceburg…, and I don’t think you can describe him as a sex addict. He’s a predator. He’s, as it were, at the top of a ladder of a system of harassment and belittling and bullying and interference and, what my mother would have referred to in the olden days as ‘pestering’. “Is he pestering you?”
Thompson went on to say “This has been part of our world, of women’s world, since time immemorial. So, 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 okay but it is also represented by the most powerful man in the world at the moment”.
And when the Newsnight interviewer brought up the subject of some women choosing to have sex with directors or producers just to get the part, Thompson explained that was why Harvey Weinstein was a perfect example of the “public health crisis in our system”.
“That’s a power struggle. It’s not about their (the women’s) decision being a wrong decision, that’s about the system being so wrong that they see, their only choice, is to be this choice that isn’t a choice in fact. It’s about power. They don’t have power. And that’s because, in our systems, there aren’t nearly enough women. Particularly in Hollywood.
She went on to say, “This is a public health issue. This is not about one man’s crimes against women. This is about our system’s inbalances, our system’s gender crisis”.
Watch Emma Thompson talking to BBC Newsnight about Harvey Weinstein, women in the entertainment industry and women’s rights in general in the video below.
As usual, Thompson is incredibly eloquent, intelligent and a woman who is not going to stand up for anyone who is being abused in any way, shape or form. Man or woman.