Excerpts from George Clooney interview on Harvey Weinstein
NEW YORK (AP) — Here are notable excerpts from the Daily Beast’s interview with George Clooney on the allegations of sexual harassment against Harvey Weinstein. Since Weinstein was fired Sunday by the Weinstein Co.’s board of directors, a flood of A-listers, including Jennifer Lawrence and Meryl Streep, have criticizing the movie mogul over allegations he sexually harassed women for decades.
—“Harvey’s admitted to it, and it’s indefensible. I’ve known Harvey for 20 years. He gave me my first big break as an actor in films on ‘From Dusk Till Dawn,’ he gave me my first big break as a director with ‘Confessions of a Dangerous Mind.’ 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.”
—“A lot of people are doing the ‘you had to know’ thing right now, and yes, if you’re asking if I knew that someone who was very powerful had a tendency to hit on young, beautiful women, sure. But I had no idea that it had gone to the level of having to pay off eight women for their silence, and that these women were threatened and victimized. I’ve been talking with a lot of people about this, and I don’t know many people who knew of that.”
—“A good bunch of people that I know would say, ‘Yeah, Harvey’s a dog’ or ‘Harvey’s chasing girls,’ but again, this is a very different kind of thing. This is harassment on a very high level.”
—“I don’t think that people were looking the other way; I think that people weren’t looking, because in some ways, a lecherous guy with money picking up younger girls is unfortunately not a news story in our society.”
—“The reality is that this is a problem deeply ingrained in our society. It was something that was talked about a lot on the left with Roger Ailes, Bill O’Reilly, and Donald Trump, and it’s something that’s going to be talked about a lot on the right with Harvey Weinstein. I think that rather than politicize it, there should be talk on both sides about the really bad behavior by powerful men and the horrible acts they commit.”
—“Hopefully, this kind of behavior will end_or become harder and harder for it to continue. What’s important now is that anybody who thinks that they can get away with doing that, they now have to think: Wait, somebody can be recording this or writing a story about it. I’m going to get in a lot of trouble. ... We’re all going to have to be more diligent about it and look for any warning signs. Before, people weren’t paying enough attention to it. Now we have to. This is the moment to start scaring people like this into not acting this way anymore.”