One of the most high-profile male actors in Hollywood has broken the general silence from the demographic regarding the scandal surrounding Harvey Weinstein — George Clooney called Weinstein’s actions indefensible in an interview with The Daily Beast.
Clooney admitted he had heard rumors that started in the ’90s regarding women sleeping with Weinstein for roles, but had dismissed them as a way to belittle the talent of the actresses.
“The part we’re hearing now about eight women being paid off, I didn’t hear anything about that and I don’t know anyone that did,” he said. “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.”
Clooney seconded the statement recently released by Meryl Streep, asserting that despite observers calling Weinstein’s behavior an open secret in Hollywood, many in the industry did not know what was going on.
“I’ve known Harvey for twenty years,” Clooney said. “We’ve had dinners, we’ve been on location together, we’ve had arguments. But I can tell you that I’ve never seen any of this behavior — ever.”
The “Suburbicon” director added that he hoped something positive could come out of the scandal.
“Maybe that’s what good will come out of this: that not just in Hollywood, although Hollywood is now the focus, but in all of these cases the victims will feel that they will be listened to, and that they don’t need to be afraid.”
Weinstein gave Clooney his first big break as an actor in the film “From Dusk till Dawn,” as well as his first big directing break with “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind.”
Variety has reached out to Clooney’s reps for further comment.