The list of people going on the record about Harvey Weinstein is growing, and it now includes former President Barack Obama. Obama’s oldest daughter Malia did an internship with The Weinstein Company back in January, and many people were wondering when and if Barack and Michelle Obama would comment on their daughter’s former boss who was also an Obama family friend. Tonight the former first couple has released a statement about Harvey Weinstein and their disappointment.
Since this weekend the volume of information revealed about Harvey Weinstein has been horrific. An article by Ronan Farrow for the New Yorker accused Harvey Weinstein of rape, sexual assault, and sexual harassment. An Italian actress, Asia Argento, claims that 20 years ago, she was assaulted by Harvey Weinstein.
“I know he has crushed a lot of people before. That’s why this story—in my case, it’s twenty years old; some of them are older—has never come out.”
Argento said that she hasn’t previously shared her story because she was afraid of what Harvey Weinstein could do to her career. Other women shared the same sentiment, saying that they hadn’t told their stories because they thought revealing details would tip Weinstein off, and he would know who it was who blew the whistle.
“If Harvey were to discover my identity, I’m worried that he could ruin my life.”
But Barack Obama didn’t mince words when commenting on what he thought about Harvey Weinstein. In a statement from the former president and his wife, Michelle Obama, Barack Obama said they were disgusted.
“Michelle and I have been disgusted by the recent reports about Harvey Weinstein. Any man who demeans and degrades women in such a fashion needs to be condemned and held accountable, regardless of wealth or status.”
Barack Obama went on to say that both men and women need to be responsible for their behavior, and he is proud of those who were brave enough to tell their stories. Barack Obama gave no indication that he had heard any of the stories about Harvey Weinstein before now.
“We should celebrate the courage of women who have come forward to tell these painful stories. And we all need to build a culture — including by empowering our girls and teaching our boys decency and respect — so we can make such behavior less prevalent in the future.”
RELATED REPORTS BY THE INQUISITR
Barack Obama has received criticism for not responding sooner to the Harvey Weinstein scandal. Harvey Weinstein helped raise $680k for Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign with $32k-a-plate dinners at the Weinstein homes in California and New York. Harvey Weinstein and his wife were guests of Barack and Michelle Obama at the White House.
Republican National Committee’s Michael Ahrens spoke out about how long it took for Barack Obama to publicly criticize Harvey Weinstein.
“Barack and Michelle Obama found time to take money from him and even host him at the White House, but somehow they can’t find time to condemn him now.”
Barack Obama is now saying that with the recent revelations about Harvey Weinstein, he is disgusted and disappointed.
What do you think of former President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama’s statement about Harvey Weinstein?
[Featured Image by Ron Sachs/Getty Images]