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Celebs use social media to speak out against Weinstein, sexual harassment

After powerful Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein was outed by The New York Times for three decades of sexual harassment allegations, social media flooded with high-profile responses ranging from condemnations to confessions.

While many women, including Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie, opened up to journalists, others found a more natural medium in the form of social media.

This is how celebrities used their own platforms to speak out.

Rose McGowan

Actress Rose McGowan, best known for her roles in Scream and Charmed, has become the figurehead of the online movement as one of the first women to admit she signed a settlement after an “incident” in a hotel room.

McGowan has previously spoken out about her own traumatic rape experience by a Hollywood exec, and many have made the tie between the two reports.

One tweet implies that she is only now able to call him a rapist because others have come forward.

Now, McGowan is using Twitter to call on The Weinstein Company’s entire board to resign, as she alleges they all knew about his harassment and remained silent and complicit.

Ben Affleck

One of the actors McGowan has directly called out is Ben Affleck, whom she claims knew exactly what was going on.

The “lie” she is referring to is Affleck’s Facebook post that condemned Weinstein’s actions.

“I find myself asking what I can do to make sure this doesn’t happen to others,” he wrote. “We need to do better at protecting our sisters.”

The post fell flat, though, as Affleck’s own brother, Oscar winner Casey Affleck, has had his own share of sexual harassment allegations levelled at him — a topic which Ben Affleck has publicly avoided.

Lindsay Lohan

Lindsay Lohan is one of the few celebrities who have come out in support of Weinstein. In an Instagram Story, Lohan said she felt “very bad for Harvey Weinstein right now”.

“I think Georgina [Chapman] should take a stand,” she said of Weinstein’s wife, who has announced she is leaving him. “He’s never wronged me or done anything to me. We’ve done several movies together and so I think everyone needs to stop. I think it’s wrong, so stand up.”

Twitter did not take kindly to her support.

Terry Crews

Moving away from Weinstein and onto the broader problem that is sexual harassment in Hollywood, Terry Crews used Twitter to detail how he kept quiet about his own harassment for fear of how others would react.

In the thread, Crews details how an executive once grabbed his “privates” in front of his wife. 

Lena Dunham

As soon as the Weinstein news broke, actress Lena Dunham ushered in her support for the women who came forward — but like with everything Dunham does, it was met with some skepticism.

But the actress overstepped her mark when she called men who spoke out against Weinstein “sexually irresistible” in a since-deleted tweet praising men for the minimum amount of decency.

Many were also frustrated, because in her book Not That Kind of Girl, Dunham details how she forced her sister to kiss her when they were children — and also how she would sometimes curiously “carefully spread open” her sister’s legs.

Other notable comments

Many other notable celebrities have spoken out on social media. These were their statements.

Others have given statements to various news publications, many of which you can find here.

Feature images: Gage Skidmore via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0, edited)

Author | Julia Breakey

Julia Breakey
Julia is a UCT film graduate with a passion for dogs, media, and dog-centric media. If she's not gushing about the new television show that you need to watch, she's rewatching The Good Place (which you need to watch). More

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