Weinstein investigated over alleged London assault, Beckinsale joins accusers
Harvey Weinstein facing new misconduct claim as Donald Trump weighs in
Sexual harassment and bullying is rife in Hollywood and allegations of assault against disgraced movie producer Harvey Weinstein are just the tip of the iceberg, Oscar-winning actress Emma Thompson has said.
The Sense and Sensibility star said she was not aware of allegations against Weinstein before The New York Times revealed settlements had been made with several women who had complained about being assaulted or harassed by the media mogul.
“I didn’t know about these things, but they don’t surprise me at all, and they’re endemic to the system anyway,” Thompson told the BBC.
“What I find sort of extraordinary is that this man is at the top of a very particular iceberg, you know, he’s … I don’t think you can describe him as a sex addict — he’s a predator.
“What he’s, as it were, at the top of the ladder of is a system of harassment, and belittling, and bullying, and interference.”
Thompson said there were “many” sexual predators in the entertainment industry.
“Maybe not to that degree,” she said.
“Do they have to all be as bad as him to make it count?
“Does it only count if you really have done it to loads and loads and loads of woman?
“Or does it count if you do it to one woman once? I think the latter.”
The British actress’s comments came as The Guardian reported that London police had received an allegation of sexual assault against Weinstein and Kate Beckinsale joined other high-profile film stars and models in accusing the 65-year-old of inappropriate behaviour.
Weinstein has denied any non-consensual sexual conduct with any women.
‘This has been part of our world’
She said it was a but it was a symptom of the “crisis of extreme masculinity” in wider society.
“‘Is he pestering you?’ That’s the word we used to use in the olden days, if you recall,” she said.
“This has been part of our world, women’s world, since time immemorial.
“So what we need to start talking about is the crisis in masculinity, the crisis of extreme masculinity, which is this sort of behaviour, and the fact that it is not only OK.’
She added that it was an attitude “represented by the most powerful man in the world at the moment”.
The last remark appeared to reference US President Donald Trump, who has faced sexual harassment allegations and bragged about using his notoriety to get away with “grabbing” women.
Last weekend Mr Trump said he had known Weinstein for “a long time” and was “not at all surprised to see” the allegations made against him.