Judd Apatow has called for change in Hollywood following the Harvey Weinstein sexual misconduct scandal.
Since The New York Times published an expose claiming Weinstein had sexually harassed and assaulted women for decades in October (17), the entertainment industry has been rocked by scandal, with women and men coming forward to also accuse James Toback, Kevin Spacey and Louis C.K., among others, of inappropriate behavior.
Now, Apatow has called out the “cowards” in the film industry who refused to acknowledge a culture of harassment in a candid interview with Deadline.
“Most of this is about violence and very serious harassment,” he said. “There’s certainly a level of it which is about people being disrespectful, and they shouldn’t be, but the majority of this is about violent crime, and about why people in our industry were and are willing to ignore violent crimes to line their own pockets, or protect their careers. That’s what this is about. How come people worked with Harvey Weinstein when they knew that he was assaulting people?”
He also discussed Daryl Hannah’s account of multiple alleged attempts by Weinstein to get into her hotel room, including one instance where she felt the need to barricade herself in with a dresser blocking the door.
“If one of the lead actresses of my film called me up and said, ‘I had to put a dresser up against the door because one of your producers was trying to push his way in,’ I would never work with that person again, and I would tell somebody,” the 49-year-old said.
However, Apatow believes sexual misconduct can’t ever be fully erased from Hollywood.
“We’re always going to see it happen again. We just might reduce it. Because there’s always rapists, there’s always murderers. There’s always people who commit sexual harassment. It’s just about how we deal with it,” he explained.
The father-of-two, who is married to actress Leslie Mann, called for a constructive way to not only prevent sexual harassment from happening again, but for victims to be supported.
“There are probably a lot of ways that we can create accountability for everybody. But people should talk about what happened. I think people are just beginning to realize that they should speak up… We need to find a way to make it possible for them to do that.”