While many A-list celebrities and high-profile politicians are claiming they had no knowledge of famed producer Harvey Weinstein’s lurid behavior with his female stars, a 2013 clip from a press conference for the Academy Awards makes it clear his antics were an open joke in Hollywood for years.
“The 2012 nominees for best performance by an actress in a supporting role are Sally Field in Lincoln, Anne Hathaway in Les Miserables, Jacki Weaver in Silver Linings Playbook, Helen Hunt in The Sessions, and Amy Adams in The Master,” Seth MacFarlane said at the event.
“Congratulations, you five ladies no longer have to pretend to be attracted to Harvey Weinstein,” he said as co-host Emma Stone and others in the audience laughed nervously.
MacFarlane posted to Twitter about the jab on Wednesday.
“I couldn’t resist the opportunity to take a hard swing in his direction,” MacFarlane wrote. “Make no mistake, this came from a place of loathing and anger.”
The joke is among numerous warning signs that foreshadowed recent revelations published by The New York Times last week detailing decades of sexual misconduct by the movie mogul, who co-founded Miramax and produced numerous popular films including “Pulp Fiction,” “Clerks,” “Good Will Hunting,” and others.
Weinstein left Miramax in 2005 to found The Weinstein Company, from which he was fired over the sexual assault allegations on Sunday.
At least 28 women have stepped forward to accuse Weinstein of negotiating movie roles in exchange for unwanted sexual advances, a practice he allegedly covered up through his influence and settlements with at least eight different women.
“Many of their allegations are similar: they say that Weinstein invited them to a private room, where he either asked for a naked massage or sexually assaulted them,” Vanity Fair reports. “The majority of the time, Weinstein’s alleged targets were young, aspiring actresses – whom he reportedly preyed upon using his colleagues and his powerful title to cushion against any blowback.”
Many of the women accusing Weinstein of forcing himself on them are now among the top A-list celebrities in Hollywood, including Angelina Jolie, Rose McGowan, Gwyneth Paltrow, Ashley Judd, Heather Graham and others.
Numerous celebrities have weighed in on the Weinstein scandal in recent days, with some like Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Jennifer Lawrence, and others in the movie business claiming they had no idea their former boss allegedly groped and molested their colleagues.
Democratic politicians who received large campaign contributions from Weinstein and his family over the years have been much lower to respond to the allegations.
Weinstein donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to the Clinton Foundation and $46,350 to her 2016 presidential campaign, Fox News reports.
Weinstein also supported Clinton in 2008, and hosted a fundraiser for President Obama at his Westport, Connecticut home in 2012.
After several days of silence, Clinton condemned her friend on Wednesday, though she also insisted she knew nothing about his bad behavior.
“I was appalled. It was something that was just intolerable in every way,” Clinton told CNN. “And, you know, like so many people who’ve come forward and spoken out, this was a different side of a person who I and many others had known in the past.”
Clinton claims she now plans to donate the money she received from Weinstein to charity, as part of her regular contributions.
“What other people are saying, what my former colleagues are saying, is they’re going to donate it to charity, and of course I will do that,” Clinton said. “I give 10 percent of my income to charity every year, this will be part of that. There’s no – there’s no doubt about it.”