Charlize Theron added her voice Tuesday to the fast-developing scandal engulfing Harvey Weinstein, denouncing him while praising the women who have stepped forward to share their experiences of being sexually harassed by the longtime Hollywood career-maker.
“The women who have spoken about their abuse are brave and heroic and although I didn’t have a personal experience like this with Harvey Weinstein, I unfortunately cannot say I’m surprised,” Theron wrote in an Instagram post. “This culture has always existed, not just in Hollywood, but across the world.”
She continued: “Men in positions of power have gotten away with it for far too long. We cannot blame the victims here. A lot of these women are young, just starting out in their respective fields, and have absolutely no way to stand up to a man with so much influence, much greater than theirs.”
Since Thursday, when The New York Times published its first report detailing Weinstein’s pattern of behavior over decades, the now-fired studio mogul has denied the allegations, despite at first expressing contrition for his actions. On Tuesday, the New Yorker released their investigative piece, which offered graphic details about how Weinstein had arranged to meet other actresses, including Asia Argento, who said he raped them. The Times also posed a second story today detailing the harassment experienced by Hollywood A-listers like Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow.
The number of women who have gone public with their Harvey stories now includes a Sundance filmmaker, Louisette Geiss, who shared her story during a press conference arranged by her attorney, Gloria Allred. The controversy is roiling Hollywood and raising questions about the future of the Weinstein Company now that its co-founder has been fired.
Leading Hollywood men, including Ben Affleck. George Clooney, Matt Damon, and Mark Ruffalo, have also stepped forward to condemn the allegations. Other actresses, like Meryl Streep and Minnie Driver, said they were aghast to learn about the accusations, but have not had similar experiences with Weinstein.
Nonetheless, Theron said it was important to speak out to empower other women. “This is all a positive step forward in changing that culture, and these young women need to know that they have a support system should anything like this happen to them. And I want you all to know I support you.”