Biden slams Weinstein's actions, calls on men in Hollywood to 'speak up'

Biden slams Weinstein's actions, calls on men in Hollywood to 'speak up'
© Greg Nash

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoseph (Joe) Robinette BidenDems ponder gender politics of 2020 nominee Trump: Why didn't Obama 'do something about Russian meddling?' 2020 Dem contenders travel to key primary states MORE on Wednesday slammed the alleged actions of film producer and Democratic mega-donor Harvey Weinstein and called on men in Hollywood to “speak up” for women in the industry. 

“And while we’ve made progress together we know violence and the abuse of power still persist today,” the former vice president said during a speech hosted by the New York City Anti-Violence Project for its Courage Awards, which honored Biden.

“We’ve recently seen that in stark relief in the disgusting conduct and behavior of a very powerful figure in Hollywood. A man who had power over scores of women and their careers. The ultimate abuse of power in a disgusting, immoral and inexcusable way,” Biden added, becoming louder.

Biden’s comments about the accusations against Weinstein come as Democratic politicians like former President Obama and former presidential candidate Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonWoman behind pro-Trump Facebook page denies being influenced by Russians Trump: CNN, MSNBC 'got scammed' into covering Russian-organized rally Pennsylvania Democrats set to win big with new district map MORE have come under pressure to speak about the reports. Weinstein was a bundler for both Obama and Clinton during their presidential campaigns. 

“Because of the bravery of so many courageous women in Hollywood speaking up, putting their careers at risk because you know how it works many of you. Even if the public believes it, they judge you as well. They judge you and ask themselves, which they have no right to, ‘were you complicit in this in any way?’ 'why didn’t you have the courage to do something?’ ” Biden continued. 

The New York Times, in an investigative report last week, revealed sexual harassment allegations against Weinstein stretching back decades. This week, The New Yorker published its own explosive report that included three women accusing Weinstein of rape. On the same day, The Times published another report including harassment accusations from more women.

“But it still takes courage to speak out. These women in Hollywood speaking out now did it to save other women from similar abuse,” Biden said in the speech.

“This disgusting behavior at least from the part of Harvey Weinstein has been brought to an abrupt and justifiable end, but it’s long past time for the powerful men in Hollywood to speak up, to be strong enough to say something because silence is complicity,” he said.

Democratic politicians, including Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerDemocrats now attack internet rules they once embraced Schumer: Trump budget would ‘cripple’ gun background checks Schumer: Senate Republicans' silence 'deafening' on guns, Russia MORE (N.Y.), have sought to distance themselves from Weinstein in the wake of the various reports, vowing to donate funds from the producer to nonprofit groups that help female victims of sexual abuse.