Why Is Rose McGowan Calling Out Alyssa Milano On Twitter? The Situation Involves Harvey Weinstein's Wife
In a news story that will really bum out fans of the show Charmed, Rose McGowan called out Alyssa Milano on Twitter. The actor posted several tweets directed toward her former costar on Friday, Dec. 8, and true to form, McGowan did not mince words. McGowan has been a vocal (though, at times, problematic) supporter of the #MeToo movement on social media, detailing a history of alleged sexual assault by Hollywood executive Harvey Weinstein. (Weinstein has denied all allegations against him.) The actor has newly taken issue with Milano, herself an active participant in #MeToo, over Milano's continued friendship with Georgina Chapman.
Chapman married Weinstein in 2007, and the relationship between the high-profile pair has long been shrouded in secrecy. In Oct. 2017, the designer released a formal statement, announcing that she was leaving Weinstein, but not confirming reports that she had met with divorce lawyers. (In his initial statement, Weinstein said, "I appreciate the way I've behaved with colleagues in the past has caused a lot of pain, and I sincerely apologize for it." His spokesperson later told The New Yorker, "Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein.")
In her response, Chapman included a tepid statement about her husband's alleged victims:
"My heart breaks for all the women who have suffered tremendous pain because of these unforgivable actions. I have chosen to leave my husband. Caring for my young children is my first priority and I ask the media for privacy at this time."
In speaking to Megyn Kelly on Dec. 5, Milano was candid about her longtime friend's situation. "[Chapman] is an amazing mother," Milano detailed, "She’s an amazing woman, and I think her priority right now is focusing on how to raise those two children to the best of her capacity given the situation.” This, McGowan wrote on Twitter, makes the actor feel sick.
It's callous, and downright wrong, to hold women responsible for the actions of their partners. Comparing Chapman to Camille Cosby seems needlessly cruel. It's unclear what McGowan is trying to accomplish; pointing out the hypocrisy of condemning Weinstein while allying with his wife is a bold stance to take from an actor whose intersectional feminism is considered lacking. One doesn't get to nitpick their feminist causes. A person can't take the moral high ground while publicly and indirectly going after a friend.
On the other hand, some may find it questionable for Milano to be so thoroughly supportive of Chapman. No, Chapman did not commit her husband's crimes. She also didn't confirm or deny them. Obviously, some elements of self-protection may be in play — she has a designer label to keep afloat, children to shield, and her own sanity to maintain — but "my heart breaks for all the women who have suffered" is so carefully worded, it almost seems ineffective. Especially considering her first move was to stand "100 percent behind" him, according to a statement Weinstein himself made to the New York Times.
The nature of Weinstein's meetings — of his history of alleged sexual misconduct and abuse of power — has apparently been an open industry secret for decades. Is it possible that someone who ran a couture line beloved by Hollywood A-listers could really have known nothing before entering a relationship with Weinstein, and learned nothing during it? Maybe. Is it unsettling to watch Milano announce, "This is not easy for [Chapman], but I have no doubt that not only will she come out on the other side of this, but she deserves to. She’s a good woman," without any more declarative statement from Chapman herself? Sure. None of it is great.
Honestly, this situation had "problematic" written all over it from the second Milano spoke to Kelly. McGowan's tweets are not going to help resolve anything here. In fact, it kind of paints her as the selective feminist she's making her former Charmed costar out to be. Milano, meanwhile, has not said anything that acknowledges McGowan's criticism. (Bustle reached out to McGowan and Milano's reps for comment, but did not receive an immediate response.)
Both actors have valid points to make here. McGowan is allowed to be baffled by Milano's friendship with Chapman. Milano is allowed to be supportive of a friend in crisis. Chapman shouldn't have to atone for the actions of her husband, though it would only benefit the alleged victims to hear a more definitive statement from her. All in all, this is deeply uncomfortable to watch. When Charmed's Paige Matthews is subtweeting Phoebe Halliwell, one has to wonder what the world has come to.
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, call the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 800-656-HOPE (4673) or visit online.rainn.org.