Actor George Clooney has responded to the allegations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein.
Clooney said that he got his “first big break” from Weinstein, reported the Daily Beast on Monday.
“It’s indefensible. That’s the only word you can start with. Harvey’s admitted to it, and it’s indefensible,” he added.
“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,” Clooney added.
“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.”
He elaborated on the situation surrounding Weinstein, who is being accused of decades of sexual harassment and misconduct. The New York Times first broke the story.
“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,” Clooney said. “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.”
Clooney said that the sexual harassment is a society-wide issue.
“This is a moral issue. 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,” he said.
This week, Weinstein was fired from his own company after the harassment reports surfaced.
“The directors of The Weinstein Company—Robert Weinstein, Lance Maerov, Richard Koenigsberg and Tarak Ben Ammar—have determined, and have informed Harvey Weinstein, that his employment with The Weinstein Company is terminated, effective immediately,” a statement from the firm said on Sunday evening, CNN reported.
Two lawyers who were also advising Weinstein, Lanny Davis, and Lisa Bloom, said they would stop working with him. “My understanding is that Mr. Weinstein and his board are moving toward an agreement,” Bloom tweeted.