Meryl Streep has expressed her disappointment at being slammed by fellow actress Rose McGowan for “happily working with the pig monster,” in reference to producer Harvey Weinstein, who McGowan has alleged raped her.
On Saturday, McGowan took to Twitter to share her thoughts about reports that actresses including Streep and Jessica Chastain plan to protest sexual harassment by wearing black to the upcoming Golden Globe Awards. McGowan declared the idea a “silent protest.”
“YOUR SILENCE is THE problem," McGowan wrote in a post that has since been deleted. "You’ll accept a fake award breathlessly & affect no real change. I despise your hypocrisy.”
In a statement released to ET on Monday, Streep said she was “hurt to be attacked by” McGowan and insisted she knew nothing about Weinstein’s bad reputation.
“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,” Streep said. “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.”
Streep added that she had only visited Weinstein’s office one time in 1998 for a meeting with director Wes Craven for Music of the Heart, and that she had “never in my life been invited to his hotel room.”
She also pointed out that Weinstein was more of a producer and marketer of movies, rather than a filmmaker, meaning that not every actor associated with him knew details about his personal life.
Streep went on to share her hopes that a legal defense fund for harassment victims would help “bring down the bastards,” and revealed that she had attempted to reach out to McGowan, but heard nothing from the actress.
“Rose assumed and broadcast something untrue about me, and I wanted to let her know the truth," Streep said. “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.”
“And, I hoped that she would give me a hearing,” she continued. “She did not, but I hope she reads this. I am truly sorry she sees me as an adversary, because we are both, together with all the women in our business, standing in defiance of the same implacable foe: a status quo that wants so badly to return to the bad old days -- the old ways where women were used, abused and refused entry into the decision-making, top levels of the industry. That’s where the cover-ups convene. Those rooms must be disinfected, and integrated, before anything even begins to change.”
After Streep’s statement was released, McGowan tweeted again, this time apologizing for at her dig at Weinstein’s estranged wife’s fashion line, Marchesa. She has made no further mention of Streep, but deleted the tweet that mentioned the Oscar winner.
McGowan is one of more than 50 women who have accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct in recent months. He has denied all allegations of non-consensual sex.
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