Terry Gilliam Has Some Controversial Opinions About Harvey Weinstein and #MeToo
Since The New York Times and The New Yorker published explosive reports about Harvey Weinstein last fall, over 80 women have come forward to allege that Weinstein sexually harassed or assaulted them. The avalanche of allegations ended Weinstein’s reign of terror in Hollywood, and re-cast the producer from Academy Awards rainmaker to Arizona pariah. (He has denied all claims of nonconsensual sex.)
Meryl Streep and Jennifer Lawrenceverbally eviscerated their former collaborator. Jimmy Kimmel and Seth Meyerspummeled him at the award shows over which he once presided. The New York Police Department is reportedly closing in on him. But on Friday, one former Weinstein collaborator, filmmaker Terry Gilliam, spoke up to criticize the #MeToo movement and allege that Weinstein’s grim casting-couch methods did, on some occasions, benefit savvy women.
“Harvey opened the door for a few people, a night with Harvey—that’s the price you pay,” Gilliam said in an interview with AFP on Friday, during which he acknowledged that the producer is a “monster.”
“It is a world of victims. I think some people did very well out of meeting with Harvey and others didn’t,” continued Gilliam. “The ones who did, knew what they were doing. These are adults; we are talking about adults with a lot of ambition.”
According to Variety, “Gilliam also claimed that some of the women didn’t actually suffer, but used Weinstein to further their careers, and that he knew women who walked out of meetings with the mogul before getting sexually abused.”
Gilliam also likened the #MeToo movement to “mob rule,” saying, “the mob is out there, they are carrying their torches and they are going to burn down Frankenstein’s castle.” He pointed out Matt Damon, who apologized after a backlash erupted about his own statements on the current reckoning, as being a victim of Hollywood’s “simplistic” and “silly” “mob” mentality.
“I feel sorry for someone like Matt Damon, who is a decent human being,” Gilliam said. “He came out and said all men are not rapists, and he got beaten to death. Come on, this is crazy!”
Get Vanity Fair’s HWD NewsletterSign up for essential industry and award news from Hollywood.Julie MillerJulie Miller is a Senior Hollywood writer for Vanity Fair’s website.