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J.J. Abrams Calls Harvey Weinstein a ‘Monster’

Alberto E. Rodriguez, Getty Images
Alberto E. Rodriguez, Getty Images

At the Hammer Museum’s 15th annual Gala in the Garden on Saturday night, talk of Harvey Weinstein was inescapable as stars gathered to honor Ava DuVernay and The New Yorker’s Hilton Als. Perhaps the most livid was J.J. Abrams, who held nothing back, calling Harvey Weinstein nothing short of “a monster.”

Abrams spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about Weinstein’s conduct and the troubling number of allegations against him, saying that this isn’t something that can be ignored any longer.

Someone said to me the other day that they are sick of hearing people talk about how disgusting it is. I don’t think enough can be said about how viciously repulsive his abuse of power was. He’s a monster. There are other monsters but there are those who fight monsters and tonight is all about those who fight monsters.

Also in attendance at the gala were ShamelessEmmy Rossum and Mr. Robot creator Sam Esmail, who echoed Abrams’ sentiment that this can’t be swept under the rug.

We are all still processing. Some new information for all of us; some of us seem to have known. Sarah Polley just wrote something for The New York Times that we read five minutes before we left the house that we feel very stirred by. We definitely want to condemn actions that don’t reflect how we want the culture of our industry and our society to be, and we also want to look within ourselves to see what we can do better.

Esmail noted that Hollywood has a particular way of treating women in the industry that can lead to this kind of disastrous situation.

The stuff that goes on is really despicable and has no place in any work environment, let alone in our industry. There is something about our industry where women especially are asked to be vulnerable and sexualized. That has to be treated with more sensitivity not less.

Ruth Wilson, who stars in upcoming film Dark River about a woman dealing with past sexual abuse, was also at the event, and said that this is an ongoing problem in the industry that needs to be fixed.

It needs to be addressed. It’s in every element of the industry; it’s not just producers, it’s the work environments for women in general. It’s about time that Hollywood and the rest of the industries — the TV industry, the movie industry in the U.K. — start dealing with it. Women have not been on an equal platform for a very long time.

Weinstein, who was fired from The Weinstein Company, was expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences over the weekend.

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