Meryl Streep responds to Rose McGowan's slam

Meryl Streep is defending herself against Rose McGowan's claim that the award-winning actress was silent about Harvey...

Posted: Dec 20, 2017 1:30 AM
Updated: Dec 20, 2017 1:30 AM

Meryl Streep is defending herself against Rose McGowan's claim that the award-winning actress was silent about Harvey Weinstein.

The former "Charmed" star, who has accused Weinstein of rape, went after Streep in a now deleted tweet after it was reported that women plan to attend the upcoming Golden Globes awards show wearing black in solidarity with victims of sexual harassment and violence.

"Actresses, like Meryl Streep, who happily worked for The Pig Monster, are wearing black @goldenglobes in a silent protest," McGowan tweeted. "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." (Marchesa is the fashion line of Weinstein's estranged wife, Georgina Chapman.)

Through a spokesperson, Weinstein has denied any allegations of non-consensual sex.

Allegations against him from dozens of women spanning decades helped kick off a major reckoning across Hollywood and beyond as women come forward with accusations of sexual misconduct against men of power.

Related: Salma Hayek recalls Harvey Weinstein 'fury' on 'Frida' set in op-ed

In a lengthy statement provided to CNN, Streep said she was not "deliberately silent," just unaware of Weinstein's alleged assaults.

"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," Streep said in her statement. "I wasn't deliberately silent. I didn't know."

Streep said that she had not experienced any of the behavior Weinstein is now being accused of.

"HW [Harvey Weinstein] was not a filmmaker; he was often a producer, primarily a marketer of films made by other people- some of them great, some not great," she wrote. "But 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."

Streep added that Weinstein "needed me much more than I needed him and he made sure I didn't know."

"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," Streep wrote. "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. "

The Oscar winner said she did not hear from McGowan but was hopeful that she would see the statement.

She also mentioned a fund being started in Hollywood to aid the victims of sexual misconduct.

Streep's full statement:

"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.

I don't know where Harvey lives, nor has he ever been to my home.

I have never in my life been invited to his hotel room.

I have been to his office once, for a meeting with Wes Craven for 'Music of the Heart' in 1998.

HW distributed movies I made with other people.

HW was not a filmmaker; he was often a producer, primarily a marketer of films made by other people- some of them great, some not great. But 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 womens' silence was purchased by him and his enablers.

HW needed us not to know this, because our association with him bought him credibility, an ability to lure young, aspiring women into circumstances where they would be hurt.

He needed me much more than I needed him and he made sure I didn't know. Apparently he hired ex Mossad operators to protect this information from becoming public. Rose and the scores of other victims of these powerful, moneyed, ruthless men face an adversary for whom Winning, at any and all costs, is the only acceptable outcome. That's why a legal defense fund for victims is currently being assembled to which hundreds of good hearted people in our business will contribute, to bring down the bastards, and help victims fight this scourge within.

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. No one can bring back what entitled bosses like Bill O'Reilly, Roger Ailes, and HW took from the women who endured attacks on their bodies and their ability to make a living.. And 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."

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