Movie legend Meryl Streep has responded to accusations by Rose McGowan that she was “silent” about Harvey Weinstein’s rampant sexual misconduct, writing in a statement that she wants McGowan to know that she would never have worked with him if she knew about his alleged behavior. In tweets that have since been deleted, McGowan had accused Streep and other actresses who worked with Weinstein of hypocrisy for planning a silent protest at the Golden Globes next month — prompting criticism of McGowan from others in the #MeToo movement who felt it was important for women to unite “in the pursuit of permanent change and gender equality.”
In a statement provided to Business Insider, Streep said that she had been “hurt” by McGowan’s comments, noting that Weinstein had hired intelligence operatives and “ex-Mossad operators” to help make sure that she and others didn’t find out about his behavior.
“It hurt to be attacked by Rose McGowan in banner headlines this weekend, but I want to let her know I did not know about Weinstein’s crimes, not in the ‘90s when he attacked her, or through subsequent decades when he proceeded to attack others,” she said in the statement. “I wasn’t deliberately silent. I didn’t know. I don’t tacitly approve of rape. I didn’t know. I don’t like young women being assaulted. I didn’t know this was happening.”
“Rose assumed and broadcast something untrue about me, and I wanted to let her know the truth,” Streep added. “Through friends who know her, I got my home phone number to her the minute I read the headlines. I sat by that phone all day yesterday and this morning, hoping to express both my deep respect for her and others’ bravery in exposing the monsters among us, and my sympathy for the untold, ongoing pain she suffers … I hoped that she would give me a hearing. She did not, but I hope she reads this.”
In the end, Streep insisted that she wasn’t McGowan’s “adversary,” and that she hoped that they could work “together with all the women in our business” to help push back against the “status quo … the old ways where women were used, abused and refused entry into the … top levels of the industry.”
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