Meryl Streep on Monday responded to fellow actor Rose McGowan's allegation over the weekend that she turned a blind eye to Harvey Weinstein's many allegations of sexual harassment and assault.
“It hurt to be attacked by Rose McGowan in banner headlines this weekend, but I want to let her know I did not know about Weinstein’s crimes, not in the 90s when he attacked her, or through subsequent decades when he proceeded to attack others," Streep wrote in a statement first published by HuffPost.
McGowan had issued a series of tweets condemning women who pledged to wear black to the upcoming Golden Globes in silent protest as a sign of solidarity against sexual misconduct within Hollywood.
"Actresses, like Meryl Streep, who happily worked for The Pig Monster, are wearing black @GoldenGlobes in a silent protest," McGowan said in a since-deleted tweet. "YOUR SILENCE is THE problem. You’ll accept a fake award breathlessly and affect no real change. I despise your hypocrisy. Maybe you should all wear Marchesa."
In Streep's statement to McGowan, she says she never worked with Weinstein closely, refuting accusations that she was complicit in the disgraced producer's alleged behavior.
"I wasn’t deliberately silent. I didn’t know," Streep wrote. "I don’t tacitly approve of rape. I didn’t know. I don’t like young women being assaulted. I didn’t know this was happening."
Before writing her statement, Streep said she tried to reach McGowan through friends of the actor, giving them her home phone number so that that she could "let her know the truth."
Streep ended her letter by saying she was dismayed that McGowan viewed her as an adversary before homing in on the message that she would stand with other women in the face of "a status quo that wants bad old days, the old ways where women were used, abused and refused entry into the decision-making, top levels of the industry."
BuzzFeed News reached out to representatives for McGowan and Streep for comment. A spokesperson for Weinstein said in a statement Monday that "any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied" by the movie producer.
Read Streep's full statement below:
It hurt to be attacked by Rose McGowan in banner headlines this weekend, but I want to let her know I did not know about Weinstein’s crimes, not in the 90s when he attacked her, or through subsequent decades when he proceeded to attack others.
I wasn’t deliberately silent. I didn’t know. I don’t tacitly approve of rape. I didn’t know. I don’t like young women being assaulted. I didn’t know this was happening.
I don’t know where Harvey lives, nor has he ever been to my home.
I have never in my life been invited to his hotel room.
I have been to his office once, for a meeting with Wes Craven for “Music of the Heart” in 1998.
HW distributed movies I made with other people.
HW was not a filmmaker; he was often a producer, primarily a marketer of films made by other people- some of them great, some not great. But not every actor, actress, and director who made films that HW distributed knew he abused women, or that he raped Rose in the 90s, other women before and others after, until they told us. We did not know that womens’ silence was purchased by him and his enablers.
HW needed us not to know this, because our association with him bought him credibility, an ability to lure young, aspiring women into circumstances where they would be hurt.
He needed me much more than I needed him and he made sure I didn’t know. Apparently he hired ex Mossad operators to protect this information from becoming public. Rose and the scores of other victims of these powerful, moneyed, ruthless men face an adversary for whom Winning, at any and all costs, is the only acceptable outcome. That’s why a legal defense fund for victims is currently being assembled to which hundreds of good hearted people in our business will contribute, to bring down the bastards, and help victims fight this scourge within.
Rose assumed and broadcast something untrue about me, and I wanted to let her know the truth. Through friends who know her, I got my home phone number to her the minute I read the headlines. I sat by that phone all day yesterday and this morning, hoping to express both my deep respect for her and others’ bravery in exposing the monsters among us, and my sympathy for the untold, ongoing pain she suffers. No one can bring back what entitled bosses like Bill O’Reilly, Roger Ailes, and HW took from the women who endured attacks on their bodies and their ability to make a living.. And I hoped that she would give me a hearing. She did not, but I hope she reads this.
I am truly sorry she sees me as an adversary, because we are both, together with all the women in our business, standing in defiance of the same implacable foe: a status quo that wants so badly to return to the bad old days, the old ways where women were used, abused and refused entry into the decision-making, top levels of the industry. That’s where the cover-ups convene. Those rooms must be disinfected, and integrated, before anything even begins to change.”