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Kate Winslet thanked a long list of 19 people in her acceptance speech at the 2009 Oscars after she won Best Actress for her performance in The Reader, a post-WWII romantic drama based on the novel by Bernhard Schlink. However, she left one name off the list – Harvey Weinstein.
This revelation comes after a New York Times investigation found that Weinstein covered up over three decades worth of sexual assault allegations. His company recently fired him from his co-chairman position, and he also recently resigned from the Weinstein Company’s board, according to NBC News.
Winslet’s not the only one who has spoken out against Weinstein. Many other male and female celebrities have stood in solidarity with her: Meryl Streep, Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie, Tom Hanks and George Clooney, Emma Watson, and Hillary Clinton, to name a few, have either recently voiced their own sexual assault experiences with Weinstein or vilified him for his actions.
Weinstein has been involved in Winslet’s career since she appeared in Heavenly Creatures, a film released through Miramax, an independent film and television distribution company Weinstein founded and ran with his brother, which The Walt Disney Company then purchased and later sold to an investor group. Despite the Weinstein Company’s role in funding and distributing The Reader, this omission was very intentional. Winslet disregarded the advice she received about acknowledging Weinstein’s role in her success and refrained from publicly thanking him due to her negative experiences working with him.
“I remember being told, ‘Make sure you thank Harvey if you win.’ And I remember turning around and saying, ‘No I won’t. No I won’t.’ And it was nothing to do with not being grateful. If people aren’t well-behaved, why would I thank him?” Winslet said in an interview with The LA Times.
Weinstein held his role in Winslet’s career over her head for years, especially during her time acting in The Reader.
“For my whole career, Harvey Weinstein, whenever I’ve bumped into him, he’d grab my arm and say, ‘Don’t forget who gave you your first movie.’ Like I owe him everything,” Winslet told Vanity Fair. “Then later, with The Reader, same thing: ‘I’m gonna get you that Oscar nomination, I’m gonna get you a win, I’m gonna win for you.”
However, she did state that, despite Weinstein’s bullying and nasty behavior, he never actually sexually harassed her. Still, she’s glad her interactions with Weinstein ceased.
“The fact that I’m never going to have to deal with Harvey Weinstein again as long as I live is one of the best things that’s ever happened and I’m sure the feeling is universal,” Winslet told The Telegraph.
The number of women speaking out against the well-known film producer surprises Winslet and she applauds their bravery. She believes these women endured traumatic experiences and that women should not receive this treatment in the workplace.
“The fact that these women are starting to speak out about the gross misconduct of one of our most important and well-regarded film producers is incredibly brave and has been deeply shocking to hear,” Winslet told Entertainment Weekly.
Winslet currently stars in the film Wonder Wheel, directed by Woody Allen. Miramax has previously distributed some of his films, including Everyone Says I Love You (1996), Cassandra’s Dream (1997), and Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008).
Allen also voiced his concerns about the issue, telling Fox News that the situation is tragic for the women involved and Weinstein himself because he messed up his life, but that the sad situations can turn into something positive.“You also don’t want it to lead to a witch hunt atmosphere, a Salem atmosphere, where every guy in an office who winks at a woman is suddenly having to call a lawyer to defend himself,” Allen said about the Weinstein scandal in an interview with Newsday. “That’s not right either. But sure, you hope that something like this could be transformed into a benefit for people rather than just a sad or tragic situation.”
This testimony from Allen, however, comes with a disturbing disregard and lack of consciousness for his own actions of assault; in 2014, allegations were made against Allen for sexually abusing his then-step-daughter, Dylan Farrow.
Allen, however, is not the most important voice amid the Weinstein scandal. The most crucial voices during this time are of the victims themselves. We applaud Kate Winslet’s ability to speak openly about his actions. We can only hope the industry can change and grow after these allegations.
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