Emma Thompson has said that the allegations against Harvey Weinstein are a result of a much wider crisis of “extreme masculinity”, and suggested that a “conspiracy of silence” in the industry has made matters worse.
The actress branded Weinstein a bully and a predator in an interview with BBC2’s Newsnight, and suggested that it the growing scandal was representative of an “endemic” system of harassment.
“I don’t think you can describe him as a sex addict, he’s a predator – that’s different,” the Oscar-winning actress said of Weinstein. “He’s at the top of the ladder of a system of harassment and belittling and bullying”.
“This has been part of our world – women’s world – since time immemorial,” Thompson added.
When Maitlis asked her why producers and agents had not intervened, Thompson said, “That’s a conspiracy of silence. I think there are probably about a million missed opportunities to call this man out.”
She also rallied for change: “We can’t allow this to continue because what it means is that naturally vulnerable people are going to continue to be preyed upon.”
Her appearance was praised by viewers online, with Guardian journalist Lisa O’Carroll calling her interview “the most empowering I have heard in a very long time”.
— lisa o'carroll (@lisaocarroll) October 12, 2017
— Lewis Goodall (@lewis_goodall) October 12, 2017
Watch the interview in full below.