As Weinstein scope widens, who knew?
As the grim scope of the allegations surrounding Harvey Weinstein continued to expand Wednesday, the organization that bestows the Academy Awards moved to distance itself from the film mogul, actor Ben Affleck was forced to defend his own previous actions and scrutiny fell on who knew what about Weinstein’s behavior over the decades it purportedly took place.
A key and potentially volatile component of Tuesday’s New Yorker expose was the claim that “a culture of complicity” has existed at both The Weinstein Co. and his previous film company, the Walt Disney-owned Miramax. “Numerous people throughout the companies [were] fully aware of his behavior but either abetting it or looking the other way,” the magazine reported.
Further scrutiny has followed the contention that Weinstein’s conduct was “an open secret” in Hollywood. Focus has turned, in part, to not just the workplace environments Weinstein operated in, but the stars who may have had some knowledge of Weinstein’s alleged behavior but who failed to raise any alarms.
Affleck was called out Tuesday by actress Rose McGowan. In a tweet, McGowan accused Affleck of lying after issuing a statement that he was “saddened and angry” about the Weinstein revelations. McGowan, who The New York Times reported reached a $100,000 settlement with Weinstein in 1997, suggested Affleck knew decades ago about Weinstein’s behavior.
Actress Hilarie Burton also renewed an earlier allegation that Affleck groped her during a visit to MTV’s “TRL,” which she was hosting in 2003. Affleck on Wednesday tweeted an apology.