"I thought I knew this guy, and then he's being accused of rape"
Jennifer Lawrence has discussed the Harvey Weinstein scandal, saying that she had known that he was a “brute” and a “dog”, but never thought that he was a “rapist”.
Hollywood mogul Weinstein has been accused of sexually assaulting, raping or harassing up to 40 women, in both America and the UK, and is the subject of a criminal investigation and a class action lawsuit. He “unequivocally denies” any allegations of non-consensual sex.
Lawrence, who had worked with Weinstein since early in her career, was recently asked about the disgraced movie producer in an interview with Oprah Winfrey for The Hollywood Reporter.
Speaking of the moment she heard the news, Lawrence said: “There was this moment when all of this broke out and everybody was silent, and then all of a sudden, every actress’ Twitter was blowing up with, ‘You need to come forward and you need to say something and you need to condemn!’ Which is true: We do have a responsibility to say something; we’ve all worked with him, but everybody needed a moment.”
She went on to add: “Just speaking for myself, I had known him since I was 20, and he had only ever been nice to me — except for the moments that he wasn’t, and then I called him an asshole, and we moved on. He was paternal to me. So I needed a moment to process everything because I thought I knew this guy, and then he’s being accused of rape. We all knew he was a dog, we knew that he was a… tough guy, a brute, a tough guy to negotiate with. I didn’t know that he was a rapist. And it’s so widespread, the abuse, from so many different people — it’s directors, it’s producers — that I think everybody needed to [process it]. Everybody needs to deal with this in their own way; everybody needs to heal.”
Of hearing an alleged audio recording of Weinstein pressuring a woman, Lawrence said: “I felt sick in my bones for an entire day. I was just sick. I was just like, ‘I can’t,’ after hearing that. And that’s why it’s so important to talk about abuse, all of the different forms of abuse, because he didn’t lay a finger on her, and I felt chilled to my bones. Imagine having a man who is that powerful telling you to do something [and] you’re saying no. [He’s] threatening you, saying, “Don’t embarrass me. We’re at this hotel.”
Lawrence went on to call for “social change”, adding: “Men need more social awareness. But this comes down to equality, and until all women in every job are paid equally for the same amount of work, how are we ever going to be thought of as equals? As long as there is one group of humans that is overruling another one, there’s going to be abuse, [and] why would we be thought of as equals? … My political passion has almost turned into an obsession. I mean, I don’t think you ever do feel settled, [but] as soon as you feel settled with your home and your personal life, you’re looking at the world and going, ‘How in the hell do I fix this? What do we do?'”
“I don’t know a woman who hasn’t been touched by some sort of abuse,” Lawrence added. “I’m sad by the women’s stories, but I’m excited by the change that’s going to come from it. The rule book is being rewritten right now. People are terrified.”