Ellen Pompeo is facing backlash for remarks she made about Harvey Weinstein and the women he allegedly sexually assaulted. On Wednesday, a clip from an Oxford Union Q&A in July 2018 started making the rounds on Twitter.
During the interview, the actress spoke about her time on Grey’s Anatomy and inequality in Hollywood. Pompeo made a few comments about the convicted sex offender and sexual assault survivors, telling the interviewer that she believes women “bear some responsibility” and “it takes two to tango.”
In the one-minute clip, Pompeo said that she did not intend to blame the victim, but she’d spent two and a half hours with Harvey, and he never said anything inappropriate to her or made any sort of physical advance.
She also mentioned that she wasn’t alone with him and that she saw Harvey during the day. Pompeo added that she wouldn’t have gone into the room at night, and if he had tried something, she would have picked up a glass and smashed him across the face with it.
“So I mean, it’s all what we’re willing to tolerate in our self-esteem, and what are we going to put up with, and what are we going to compromise to be liked, to be loved, to be accepted? How bad do we want to be in show business?”
Earlier in the Q&A, the interviewer asked Pompeo for her opinion on how the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements have played a role in calling out workplace harassment and abuse in the Hollywood industry. She responded that she thinks everybody is capable of harassment of any kind and that people need to understand it won’t be tolerated. Pompeo also said that she believes women need to be responsible for the signals and messages they put out.
“I said in my article, and I’m not ashamed to say it, as an actor, you certainly, certainly, go into the room with the idea that this director needs to fall in love with me to give me this part. And so, as women, we flirt.”
She further explained that there while flirting comes in handy, there has to be a balance, and she thinks women do bear some responsibility.
Twitter users have branded her comments “disgusting,” and she’s come under fire from sexual assault survivors. One wrote that she is absolutely appalled by Pompeo’s remarks, and another said that it was clear she had never gone through a sexual assault.
Pompeo has yet to address the comments.