Seth MacFarlane Says 2013 Oscars Joke About Harvey Weinstein Was Inspired by Friend's Encounter


Seth MacFarlane says his 2013 Oscars joke about Harvey Weinstein while hosting the awards show was inspired by a real encounter. 

The 43-year-old actor took to Twitter on Wednesday to open up about the joke, which seems to have taken on new meaning amid claims that the producer has been sexually harassing women for three decades. 

MacFarlane was joined by Emma Stone onstage at the 2013 Academy Awards, where they announced the five actresses in the Supporting Actress category. "Congratulations, you five ladies no longer have to pretend to be attracted to Harvey Weinstein," MacFarlane quipped. 

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"In 2011, my friend and colleague Jessica Barth, with whom I worked on the Ted films, confided in me regarding her encounter with Harvey Weinstein and his attempted advances. She has since courageously come forward to speak out," MacFarlane wrote on Wednesday. "It was this account in mind that, when I hosted the Oscars in 2013, I couldn't resist the opportunity to take a hard swing in his direction. Make no mistake, this came from a place of loathing and anger."

"There is nothing more abhorrent and indefensible than abuse of power such as this," he continued of the allegations of sexual misconduct against Weinstein. "I respect and applaud my friend Jessica and those sharing their stories for their decision to come forward, and for being champions of truth."

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Barth spoke out about her alleged encounter with Weinstein inThe New Yorkeron Tuesday, claiming that she was invited to a business meeting with the producer at the Peninsula hotel in 2011, and promptly invited to his room. Barth claimed that Weinstein, who had ordered champagne and sushi, both offered to cast her in a film and demanded a naked massage in bed. When she moved toward the door to leave, Barth alleges that Weinstein lashed out, declaring that she needed to lose weight "to compete with Mila Kunis" before offering her a meeting with one of his female executives. 

"He gave me his number, and I walked out and I started bawling," she claimed, adding that the meeting he promised with the female executive "was bulls**t." 

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Weinstein was fired from The Weinstein Company on Sunday amid the sexual harassment controversy, after The New York Times published a report last week claiming Weinstein has reached at least eight settlements with women over sexual harassment claims spanning three decades. Weinstein's lawyer, Charles J. Harder, called the Times report "saturated with false and defamatory statements," and threatened to sue.

Weinstein's spokesperson, Sallie Hofmeister, issued another statement on Tuesday in response to the New Yorker article, which includes allegations made by Mira Sorvino, Rosanna Arquette, Asia Argento and others: "Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein. Mr. Weinstein has further confirmed that there were never any acts of retaliation against any women for refusing his advances. Mr. Weinstein obviously can’t speak to anonymous allegations, but with respect to any women who have made allegations on the record, Mr. Weinstein believes that all of these relationships were consensual. Mr. Weinstein has begun counseling, has listened to the community and is pursuing a better path. Mr. Weinstein is hoping that, if he makes enough progress, he will be given a second chance.”