In a new interview with the New York Times, Meryl Streep addressed sexual harassment in Hollywood, as well as those who have called her out for allegedly staying silent about sexual abuse as it was happening. Streep said that, instead of being angry about her #MeToo silence, people should instead focus on the silence of Melania and Ivanka Trump, as what they have to say would carry so much “value.”
The controversy surrounding Streep’s supposed silence began soon after news of Harvey Weinstein’s sexual assaults and harassment broke. Streep initially released a statement saying she was “appalled” by the former Hollywood titan’s behavior and claimed that she didn’t know about Weinstein’s actions. Since then, Streep has been called out for reportedly staying silent about Weinstein over the years by a number of people, including actress and vocal Weinstein accuser Rose McGowan. A conservative street artist known as Sabo started hanging posters claiming Streep knew about Weinstein’s alleged abuse across Los Angeles in December.
Speaking with the Times, Streep said she found out people were upset with her after an episode of Morning Joe — she doesn’t have a “Twitter thing” or Facebook. Streep explained that getting called out “underlined my own sense of cluelessness,” and the fact that an “evil, deeply evil, and duplicitous” person could be such a champion of her work. Referring to the #MeToo movement, Streep then said that “some of my favorite people have been brought down by this,” but noted that Weinstein was not one of them. She also said more high-profile people should speak out:
I don’t want to hear about the silence of me. I want to hear about the silence of Melania Trump. I want to hear from her. She has so much that’s valuable to say. And so does Ivanka. I want her to speak now.
President Donald Trump, it should be noted, has been accused of sexual assault and harassment by at least 19 women. His daughter, Ivanka, briefly told a nearly empty conference room in Japan in November that “harassment … can never be tolerated.” But his wife, Melania, has stayed relatively quiet on the topic of harassment (and other important issues) while serving as First Lady.