In early October, news broke about Harvey Weinstein's alleged sexual assaults and harassment, and the accusations keep piling up. Entertainment Weekly reports that so far, over 50 women total have accused the former Hollywood executive of sexual misconduct, and it's possible that number will continue to grow. Some of the women who've discussed Weinstein have also revealed that his alleged actions (many of which he's denied) influenced their past decisions. Kate Winslet, for instance, recently told the Los Angeles Times that she intentionally left Weinstein out of her Oscars acceptance speech in 2009, due to the "disgraceful behavior" he exhibited in their time working together. And Winslet's not alone; many other female actors left Weinstein's name out in their awards speeches as well, after winning for movies produced by Miramax Films and The Weinstein Company.
"I remember being told, ‘Make sure you thank Harvey if you win,’” Winslet recalled to the Times. “And I remember turning around and saying, ‘No I won’t. No I won’t.’ And it was nothing to do with not being grateful. If people aren’t well-behaved, why would I thank him?”
With Winslet revealing that her omission was an intentional way of protesting Weinstein, the question of why others left him out of their speeches, too, is significant. Of course, it's not known if these women chose not to note Weinstein for personal reasons related to the producer, or other reasons (Bustle has reached out to all the actors listed below, both those who thanked Weinstein and those who didn't, for comment on their choices).
Weinstein's name is seemingly as common in Oscars acceptance speeches as the word "award" or "film." And many women, including several who've now spoken out about alleged assault or harassment by Weinstein, have won Academy Awards for films distributed by Miramax or The Weinstein Company and thanked the exec in their speeches. Yet several others, like Winslet, chose instead not to utter his name, most for reasons currently unknown. While one can't assume the reason Weinstein's name was uttered or not by each of these women, the recent reveal of his alleged behavior does make these speeches feel far more meaningful than they did before.
Brenda Fricker, 1990 — Did Not Thank Weinstein
Weinstein founded Miramax in 1979 with his brother, Bob. During its first decade of producing and distributing films, the company received little fanfare, but in 1989, the movie My Left Foot: The Story of Christy Brown won major acclaim. The film garnered 1990 Oscar wins for Daniel Day-Lewis and Irish actor Brenda Fricker, the latter of whom left Weinstein out of her Supporting Actress acceptance speech. It's worth noting that Day-Lewis also left out Weinstein's name out his speech — as well as any other specific names as well, besides the real Christy Brown.
The Sun reports that Fricker recently revealed that she "did not like" Weinstein at all, and that she "avoided him.” When it came to the allegations against him, Fricker said that she was "not surprised at all."
"All you have to do is look at him, sit beside him to feel what I felt, a physical disgust and a desire to change seat," she said.
Holly Hunter, 1994 — Thanked Weinstein
Holly Hunter won an Oscar for her leading role in the 1993 film The Piano. In her acceptance speech, she gave a fervent thank you to the Weinstein brothers. "Harvey and Bob Weinstein, you also break my heart with your... passion and support for this movie," Hunter said.
In October, Hunter released a statement that said
The recent revelations about Harvey Weinstein both sadden and infuriate me. I had nothing but a professional relationship with him during the release of The Piano. He was an extreme personality, but in no way was I knowledgeable of his inappropriate and assaultive sexual activities. This particular kind of culture within the film industry—and within virtually every other walk of life you can name—must be eradicated. To take advantage of that kind of power over another person is the lowest of the low. The destruction is deep and lasting. I join my community in standing by these courageous women.
Dianne West, 1995 — Thanked Weinstein
In 1995, Wiest also thanked both Harvey and Bob Weinstein after winning the Best Actress Academy Award for Woody Allen's Bullets Over Broadway. The actor has not yet publicly commented on the allegations.
Mira Sorvino, 1996 — Did Not Thank Weinstein
A year later, Mira Sorvino left out Weinstein's name after winning an Oscar for her supporting role in Mighty Aphrodite. Sorvino also won a Golden Globe for the same role, and in that speech, thanked "everyone at Miramax" but left out Weinstein's name specifically. Looking back, this isn't a surprise, as in October of this year, Sorvino claimed to the New Yorker that Weinstein sexually harassed her when they were doing publicity for the Oscar-winning film.
“He started massaging my shoulders, which made me very uncomfortable, and then tried to get more physical, sort of chasing me around,” she recalled about an alleged experience with Weinstein in a hotel room.
Gwyneth Paltrow, 1998 — Thanked Weinstein
Gwyneth Paltrow thanked Weinstein at the 1999 Oscars after she won for her leading role in Shakespeare in Love. This year, however, Paltrow told the New York Times about alleged harassment by Weinstein that reportedly took place before her Oscars win. Paltrow claims that Weinstein placed his hands on her and invited her to the bedroom for massages.
“I was a kid, I was signed up, I was petrified,” Paltrow told to the Times. “I thought he was going to fire me."
The fact that Paltrow reportedly had this scary, intimidating experience yet went on to thank Weinstein in her Oscars acceptance speech shows just how complicated power dynamics and harassment can be. The same man who allegedly treated the actor so wrongly also helped get her career off the ground, and it's understandable that she publicly thanked him despite her alleged experience.
Catherine Zeta-Jones, 2003 — Thanked Weinstein
Catherine Zeta-Jones thanked Weinstein at the 2003 Academy Awards after she won Best Supporting Actress for her role in Chicago. In the video of her acceptance speech, Weinstein can be seen standing and clapping for the actor after her name was announced.
This year, THR reports that Zeta-Jones said at MIPCOM’s Women in Global Entertainment lunch that she is "shocked and disgusted" by Weinstein's alleged behavior, which she called "the ultimate abuse of power.” The actor added that she herself was "blessed" to have not been harassed by Weinstein at any point over the years.
Renée Zellweger, 2004 — Thanked Weinstein
Renée Zellweger won an Oscar in 2004 for her supporting role in Cold Mountain, and in her speech she thanked, "My friends at Miramax, for making this film, especially Harvey." The camera shows Weinstein watching approvingly. When contacted by Bustle, Zellweger's rep said they had no comment about the actor's mention of Weinstein in her speech, and the actor has not discussed Weinstein publicly since the allegations came out.
Cate Blanchett, 2005 — Did Not Thank Weinstein
Cate Blanchett did not mention Weinstein at the 2005 Oscars, when she won Best Supporting Actress for The Aviator (which Miramax distributed). In October, Blanchett released a statement on Weinstein's alleged abuse, saying:
Any man in a position of power or authority who thinks it’s his prerogative to threaten, intimidate or sexually assault any woman he encounters or works alongside needs to be called to account. It is never easy for a woman to come forward in such situations and I wholeheartedly support those who have.
Also, on Oct. 24 at the InStyle Awards, Blanchett indirectly responded to Hollywood's culture of sexual harassment as a whole.
"For me the true icons of style... it's always those women who've been utterly themselves without apology," she said, according to Refinery29. "I mean, you know we all like looking sexy, but it doesn't mean we want to f*ck you."
Penelope Cruz, 2009 — Thanked Weinstein
Penelope Cruz won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Woody Allen's Vicky Cristina Barcelona. In her speech, after thanking the people who helped jumpstart her career, she added, "Thank you, Harvey Weinstein."
Recently, Cruz told Buzzfeed News that "the stories that came out over the last few days about Harvey Weinstein have left me feeling extremely sad and shocked," adding, "that kind of abuse of power is absolutely unacceptable."
Melissa Leo, 2011 — Did Not Thank Weinstein
In neither Melissa Leo's 2011 Golden Globes or Oscars speech for The Fighter (distributed internationally by The Weinstein Company) did she mention Weinstein's name. Instead, in the Globes speech, the actor joked about her connection with director David O. Russell (who's also faced assault and harassment allegations), saying, "I am forever grateful for that David, those few hours we spent in the Maritime Hotel.” When people laughed, she added, “No no no no, you don’t know what kind of girl I am, it’s all work, man.”
Leo has not commented publicly on the Weinstein allegations.
Jennifer Lawrence, 2013 — Thanked Weinstein Later
Another Oscar-winning film directed by David O. Russell and distributed by the Weinstein Company was Silver Linings Playbook, for which Jennifer Lawrence won an Oscar in 2013. Lawrence did not thank Weinstein or Russell during her speech, although she released a statement following the show in which she said she simply forgot to thank the men during the speech and proceeded to do so then.
In response to the Weinstein allegations, Lawrence told Variety, “I was deeply disturbed to hear the news about Harvey Weinstein’s behavior. I worked with Harvey five years ago and I did not experience any form of harassment personally, nor did I know about any of these allegations. This kind of abuse is inexcusable and absolutely upsetting.”
And At Other Awards Shows...
In addition to the Oscars, several other awards shows have featured Weinstein's presence. Recently, Nicole Kidman thanked the exec at the 2017 AACTA International Awards show, and back in 2015, Amy Adams noted The Weinstein Company in her Best Actress speech — although she left out Harvey specifically. However, Helena Bonham Carter left out Weinstein's name when she won Best Supporting Actress for The King’s Speech at the 2011 BAFTAs.
None of the women who thanked Weinstein deserve condemnation, of course; in fact, his prevalence in awards show acceptance speeches shows just how powerful his reach was in Hollywood for so many years, over so many people.
But whatever the reason, it's not on the ladies of Hollywood to stop Weinstein from allegedly assaulting and harassing women, nor is it solely on them to speak out against that kind of behavior. Men have a responsibility to do this as well, and some famous male actors and filmmakers have revealed they were aware of Weinstein's alleged behavior, but did nothing to stop it. As director Quentin Tarantino told the New York Times on Oct. 19, “I knew enough to do more than I did... I wish I had taken responsibility for what I heard." Meanwhile, it now seems clear that at the time Matt Damon and Ben Affleck thanked Weinstein in their 1997 Oscars speech — naming him before anyone else — both men knew of his alleged misconduct.
Regardless of why an actor did or did not name Weinstein in her speech, it's an undeniable truth that both in the industry and elsewhere, women have been expected to put up with mistreatment and sexual harassment in the workplace for far too long. With the allegations against Weinstein and other powerful figures coming to light now, perhaps Hollywood will reevaluate how these men are treated and celebrated.