As the fallout from the Harvey Weinstein sexual assault allegations continues to grow, two of the biggest questions being asked involve just how long all of this had been allowed to go on for, and just how widely known Weinstein’s reputation was across most of the pop culture landscape.
One of the earliest to publicly call out Weinstein was actor/creator Seth MacFarlane (Family Guy, The Orville), who alluded to sexual harassment/assault claims against the producer while presenting the Oscar nomination list for Best Supporting Actress with actress Emma Stone (La La Land) in 2013:
“Congratulations, you five ladies no longer have to pretend to be attracted to Harvey Weinstein.”
Four years later and now that the video has surfaced, MacFarlane took to Twitter on Wednesday to explain that his “joke” was meant to be a direct and public attack at Weinstein. MacFarlane’s friend and colleague Jessica Barth (Ted, Family Guy) confided in him about a hotel room encounter she had with Weinstein in 2011. Barth also shared her story as part of the recently released New Yorker exposé on Weinstein:
— Seth MacFarlane (@SethMacFarlane) October 11, 2017
“In 2011, my friend and colleague Jessica Barth, with whom I worked on the Ted films, confided in me regarding her encounter with Harvey Weinstein and his attempted advances. She has since courageously come forward to speak out. It was with this account in mind that, when I hosted the Oscars in 2013, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to take a hard swing in his direction. Make no mistake, this came from a place of loathing and anger.
There is nothing more abhorrent and indefensible than abuse of power such as this. I respect and applaud my friend Jessica and those sharing their stories for their decision to come forward, and for being champions of the truth.”
MacFarlane joins a growing list of celebrities that includes Meryl Streep, Judi Dench, Bob Iger, George Clooney, Jennifer Lawrence, James Gunn, Leonardo DiCaprio, Brie Larson, Megan Ellison, Julianne Moore, Seth Rogen, Kevin Smith, and Lena Dunham, who are speaking out against Weinstein’s decades of alleged sexual assault claims, which came to national attention through investigative reporting by both The New York Times and The New Yorker.