Cinema’s most prestigious international film festivals have condemned the alleged actions of Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein.
Cannes Film Festival President Pierre Lescure and general delegate Thierry Frémaux issued a joint statement on Wednesday that said they were “dismayed” to learn of the accusations of harassment and sexual violence against the embattled former Weinstein Co. honcho.
“These actions point to a pattern of behavior that merits only the clearest and most unequivocal condemnation,” the statement said.
“Our thoughts go out to the victims, to those who have had the courage to testify and to all the others,” Frémaux and Lescure said. “May this case help us once again to denounce all such serious and unacceptable practices.”
The Venice Film Festival in a statement to The Times called Weinstein’s alleged behavior “unacceptable and shameful.”
“It makes it even more inexcusable [that] it comes from a powerful man, who used his position to perform extreme violence against women. But we cannot forget that every day and all over the world a lot of defenseless women are compelled to suffer similar humiliations and offenses,” the statement said, expressing hope that the disclosures would lead to “a deep change in relationships between men and women.”
The Toronto International Film Festival issued a statement on Twitter, responding to Anne T. Donahue’s tweet soliciting stories from users about their own experiences with sexual predators.
“No woman should have to face sexual harassment,” the tweet said.” TIFF salutes the courage of all who speak up.”
Berlin Film Festival director Dieter Kosslick said that it was “scandalous” that the producer’s alleged actions had been covered up for years, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
“We must thank the brave women who now have publicly come forward. We all owe a debt of gratitude to the courageous women who have come forth publicly,” Kosslick said. “Sexual abuse and sexual attacks are crimes -- a fact that society unfortunately still needs to be reminded of.”
Some of the festivals (as well as other high-profile events) have been criticized because they were allegedly used as venues for several assaults, according to Weinstein’s accusers. The Oscar-winning producer has attended numerous festivals over the years where a number of his beloved films were selected for competition.
The 65-year-old studio mogul was fired from his namesake company on Sunday and has been mired in controversy since several actresses and models came forward with allegations of decades of sexual misconduct against him.
The former studio head has denied some allegations and has said that he is seeking counseling and hopes to “rebuild” his marriage with Marchesa fashion brand co-founder Georgina Chapman, who announced she was leaving him in the wake of the scandal.