The Obamas have denounced Harvey Weinstein.
“Michelle and I have been disgusted by the recent reports about Harvey Weinstein,” former President Barack Obama wrote in a statement.
“Any man who demeans and degrades women in such fashion needs to be condemned and held accountable, regardless of wealth or status. We should celebrate the courage of women who have come forward to tell these painful stories. And we all need to build a culture — including by empowering our girls and teaching our boys decency and respect — so we can make such behavior less prevalent in the future.”
It’s not clear what “held accountable” means in this case. The powerful Hollywood producer was ousted from the Weinstein Company, but isn’t currently facing criminal charges for allegedly sexually harassing several women, some of whom have accused him of rape, as detailed in Tuesday morning’s New Yorker story. Weinstein has denied allegations of nonconsensual sex through a spokesperson.
Obama attended three fundraisers hosted by Weinstein during his time in the White House, according to CBS News. Weinstein is known as a major Democratic fundraiser.
Earlier Tuesday morning, Hillary Clinton, who also attended several fundraisers hosted by Weinstein, said in a statement that she was “shocked and appalled” by the allegations.