Hollywood continues to reckon with its past in the wake of numerous sexual assault and harassment allegations against film executive Harvey Weinstein, but it’s not the only industry that allows a culture of abuses against women to persist.
George Clooney sat down with “Entertainment Tonight” to promote his new film “Suburbicon,” starring Matt Damon, and opened up about how his wife Amal has faced sexual harassment throughout her career as a human rights lawyer.
“She’s faced those exact kinds of situations in law,” he said. “It’s everywhere and so it needs to be addressed as if it’s a problem for all of us. And we have to take it on full force because the kind of assault that we’re talking about now is ... it’s so infuriating that this was allowed to go on as long as it did.”
In a separate interview with ABC News alongside Damon, who admitted to knowing about Weinstein’s harassment of Gwyneth Paltrow, Clooney said it was “infuriating” to hear about Weinstein’s sexual predations and how he silenced so many victims.
“The fact that the story is coming out now and the more it comes out, I want to know all of it,” he said. “I would have done something about that. It makes me very angry to see that. Where did he spend his advertising dollars for the people who didn’t print that story? ... There has to be a comeuppance for all of this. All of the people who are part of that chain. We have to make it safe for people to feel that they can talk about this. And in doing that, I think that’ll scare away that kind of behavior.”
In a previous statement to The Daily Beast, Clooney said that, while he knew Weinstein for decades, he never saw such behavior as detailed by his numerous alleged victims.
It’s indefensible. That’s the only word you can start with. 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.
Last week, Clooney denied claims that he “helped blacklist” former “ER” actress Vanessa Marquez when she spoke up about harassment on the set of the NBC medical drama, which he starred in from 1994 to 1999 as Dr. Doug Ross.