Oliver Stone Defends Harvey Weinstein, Is Promptly Accused of Sexual Harassment
Filmmaker Oliver Stone has waded into the Harvey Weinstein scandal, suggesting that perhaps it takes a purveyor of toxic masculinity to know one. As many men in Hollywood and around the country this week are learning, women never forget. We keep our receipts, be them in our hands or in our heads. Not long after Stone spoke out to defend Weinstein against the growing number of sexual assault and harassment allegations (and subsequently attempted to backtrack), his own history of sexual misconduct has resurfaced.
Speaking yesterday at the Busan International Film Festival (via Deadline), Stone said we should take a “wait and see” approach with the allegations against Weinstein, which continue to pile up in the wake of bombshell exposés from The New Yorker and the New York Times — the former, by the way, included horrific audio evidence of Weinstein’s predatory behavior.
I’m a believer that you wait until this thing gets to trial. I believe a man shouldn’t be condemned by a vigilante system. It’s not easy what he’s going through, either. He was a rival and I never did business with him. I’ve heard horror stories on everyone in the business. So I’m not going to comment on that. I’ll wait and see, which is the right thing to do.
In a follow-up post on his Facebook page, Stone walked back his comments and said that he intends to “recuse” himself from the Guantanamo TV series he was planning with the Weinsteins as long as their studio remains involved:
I’ve been travelling for the last couple of days and wasn’t aware of all the women who came out to support the original story in the New York Times.
After looking at what has been reported in many publications over the last couple of days, I’m appalled and commend the courage of the women who’ve stepped forward to report sexual abuse or rape.
I’ll therefore recuse myself from the “Guantanamo” series as long as the Weinstein Company is involved.
Ben Affleck has drawn similar allegations following his denouncement of Weinstein, who produced several of the actor’s films — including Best Picture winner Good Will Hunting, which earned Affleck the Oscar alongside Matt Damon for Best Screenplay. Actress and former TRL host Hilarie Burton accused the actor of groping her breasts on the set of the MTV series back in 2003; Affleck subsequently apologized, but video of another incident with a Montreal TV host has resurfaced.
For those who assumed that the storm of accusations involving Weinstein and others would let up anytime soon, that doesn’t appear to be the case. And while many women (myself included) continue to toil in the emotional labor of the past week’s events, there’s a particularly cathartic feeling of relief: Maybe, just maybe, this is the last time we’ll have to pour our hearts out and call for an end to a patriarchal system that enables men to abuse their power and privilege to victimize and silence women.