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Hollywood reacts to the Harvey Weinstein verdict: “This is taking out the trash”

25/02/2020

Me Too founder Tarana Burke has led reactions over the guilty verdict of Harvey Weinstein. Today, 24 February, the Hollywood producer was found guilty of third-degree rape and first-degree criminal sexual act. He will be sentenced on 11 March.

Weinstein was acquitted of a further three charges, including the two most serious counts of predatory sexual assault which carried a possible life sentence, and an alternative count of rape in the first degree.

Burke, who established the famous influential #MeToo movement, released a statement on behalf of the campaign. It said that the case served as a reminder “that sexual violence thrives on unchecked power and privilege” and regardless of profession “we all have to deal with the spectre of sexual violence derailing our lives”.

“Today, a jury confirmed what we all know: Harvey Weinstein committed sexual assault,” read the statement. “This wouldn’t have been possible without the voices of the silence breakers in and outside of the courtroom, the survivors who courageously testified, and the jurors who, despite an unrelenting and unethical defence strategy, voted to find an unremorseful Harvey Weinstein guilty,” the statement said.

“For some, this has been a Hollywood battle between famous actresses and a larger-than-life producer. Some, have tired and begun to ask whether we should care about these Hollywood celebrities.

“We would do well to ask ourselves how many of these women’s names we can actually remember, beyond the boldface few? Certainly, Harvey’s name will be seared in our collective memories, but many of the survivors will be quietly taking stock of the impact.”

The statement concluded powerfully: “And, though today a man has been found guilty, we have to wonder whether anyone will care about the rest of us tomorrow. This is why we say MeToo.”

Rose McGowan, Ashley Judd and Rosanna Arquette, all of whom accused Weinstein of sexual assault, have voiced their thoughts on the verdict.

Hollywood stars including Reese Witherspoon, Julianne Moore, Judd Apatow and Elizabeth Banks also shared their positive reactions.

The Time’s Up movement also highlighted the fact that Weinstein still faces four charges in LA, which they hope will be met with”swift justice”.

“The jury’s verdict sends a powerful message to the world of just how much progress has been made since the Weinstein Silence Breakers ignited an unstoppable movement,” said Time’s Up founder Tina Tchen. “In two short years, Time’s Up helped pass new laws to help survivors achieve justice, helped thousands of individuals take on harassers and abusers in court, and changed the game when it comes to how matters of safety and equity in the workplace are understood.”

 

From Harper’s Bazaar UK

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