Rose McGowan, a central figure in the Harvey Weinstein scandal, has urged women to speak out and take back their power, in an impassioned speech about sexual abuse at the Women’s Convention in Detroit.
“We have thorns,” she said Friday at the Cobo Center. “And our thorns carry justice. And our thorns carry consequence. No more will we be shunted to the side.”
McGowan was speaking publicly for the first time since the Oct. 5 New York Times story that cited her as one of Weinstein’s alleged victims. The Times reported that McGowan had reached a settlement with the now-disgraced mogul stemming from a 1997 hotel room incident at the Sundance Film Festival.
“I have been silenced for 20 years,” McGowan said. “I have been slut-shamed. I have been harassed. I’ve been maligned. And you know what? I’m just like you.”
On Oct. 12, McGowan returned to Twitter after a 12-hour temporary suspension of her account with claims that Weinstein raped her, clarifying previous statements that she had been sexually assaulted by an unnamed studio head.
“Hollywood may seem like it’s an isolated thing, but it is not,” she said on Friday. “It is the messaging system for your mind. It is the mirror that you’re given to look into. This is what you are as a woman. This is what you are as a man. This is what you are as a boy. Girl. Gay. Straight. Transgender.”
McGowan also launched a website, RoseArmy.com, to urge women to come forward with their stories.
“What happened to me behind the scenes happens to all of us in this society and that cannot stand and it will not stand,” she said. “I came to be a voice for all of us who have been told that we are nothing. For all us who have been looked down on. For all of us who have been grabbed by the motherf—ing pu–y. No more. Name it, shame it, and call it out. Join me. … It’s time to clean house.”