Tom Hanks has described the scandal surrounding Harvey Weinstein as a “watershed moment” in Hollywood.
The movie producer has been accused of sexual assault and harassment by a number of high-profile women including Gwyneth Paltrow and Lupita Nyong’o, many of whom starred in films produced by his former workplace The Weinstein Company.
Countless men have voiced their outrage at Weinstein’s actions and his behavior in general, and Hanks is the latest star to share his thoughts on the topic.
“We’re at a watershed moment, this is a sea change,” he sighed to the BBC.
“His last name will become a noun and a verb. It will become an identifying moniker for a state of being for which there was a before and an after… Everybody has stories about some aspect of the ‘casting couch’.”
Asked whether he felt complicit due to being part of a business that allowed such behavior to go on, the Cast Away actor insisted he didn’t as Hollywood isn’t the only industry in which sexual harassment occurs.
He continued to point out that anywhere with men in power, including the likes of advertisement agencies and governmental offices, will potentially have “sexual predators” taking advantage of women working underneath them.
“I’ve been in rooms with 40 women discussing the subject and the percentage of women who had experienced that kind of predatory sexual nature from a superior was 100 per cent,” the Academy Award winner added.
“There is going to be, righteously, a pause in the discussion for the women to be heard. Perhaps all men, myself included, should pipe down and not try to explain it or comment on it or certainly not try to defend it or even prosecute it because every one of those women, those 40 women I was in the room with, 100 per cent of them need to be listened to.”
As for how people can work towards finding a solution, Hanks advised everyone to listen to the victims of such actions and allow them to speak as freely as they wish. He also urged companies around the globe to issue a code of ethics warning against predatory behavior.