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'He's a predator': Emma Thompson gave a blistering interview about Harvey Weinstein last night

“He’s at the top of the ladder in a system of harassment and belittling and bullying and interference,” she said.

emma thompson Source: Facebook/BBC Newsnight

EMMA THOMPSON has delivered a scathing appraisal of the Weinstein scandal, calling him a ‘predator’ and saying she has no doubt that more like him exist in Hollywood.

Harvey Weinstein has been accused of sexual harassment and assault by a number of women in the film industry, including Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie – just yesterday Kate Beckinsale said that he targeted her when she was 17 years old.

Harvey Weinstein allegations Weinstein and Paltrow in 2002 Source: PA Wire/PA Images

In an interview with the BBC’s Emily Maitlis last night, Thompson said that she did not know about the the allegations against Weinstein previously, but they didn’t come as a surprise.

“What I find extraordinary is that this man is at the top of a very particular iceberg,” she said. “I don’t think you can describe him as a sex addict, he’s a predator.”

But what he’s at the top of the ladder of is a system of harassment and belittling and bullying and interference, and what my mother would have referred to in the olden days as ‘pestering’. “Is he pestering you?” That’s the word we used to use.
This has been part of our world, women’s world, since time immemorial. So what we need to start talking about is the crisis in masculinity, the crisis of extreme masculinity which is this sort of behaviour, and the fact that it is not only OK but it also is represented by the the most powerful man in the world at the moment.

Can’t see the video? Click here.

Thompson said that she clashed with Weinstein over her film NannyMcPhee, the rights to which were originally owned by Miramax.

She compared his situation to that of Jimmy Savile in the UK, saying women were compelled by his power in the industry to submit to his ‘pestering’.

The Meyerowitz Stories Premiere - BFI London Film Festival 2017 Source: Doug Peters/EMPICS Entertainment

“I spent my 20s trying to get old men’s tongues out of my mouth, you know, because they just thought ‘Well, she’s up for it’,” she said.

I would imagine this happens really very regularly, and perhaps this is a moment when we can say to men and women: Open your eyes and open your mouths and say something… I do see and hear a lot of voices, and I do want to add mine to theirs and say that Hollywood can and must change.

When asked by Maitlis if there are others in the industry “to [Weinstein's] degree”, Thompson made an important point:

Do they all have to be as bad as him to make it count? Does it only count if you have done it to loads and loads of women, or does it count if you have done it to one woman, once. I think the latter.

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Previously: London and NYC police launch investigations into Harvey Weinstein assault allegations>

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