- Harvey Weinstein was convicted of rape and a criminal sexual act by New York jury Monday but was acquitted on more serious charges.
- Since the ruling, many praised the women who testified in court and applauded the decision.
- Those who spoke out include journalist Ronan Farrow; previous Weinstein accusers Rose McGowan, Rosanna Arquette, and Ashley Judd; and President Donald Trump.
- Weinstein maintains his innocence and was briefly hospitalized for heart palpitations following the verdict. He faces more charges in Los Angeles.
Responses to Weinstein’s Conviction
After disgraced film producer Harvey Weinstein was convicted on charges of rape and a criminal sexual act, many praised his the ‘silence breakers’ who told their stories for speaking out and starting a movement.
On Monday, Weinstein was found guilty on those two charges but was acquitted on a second rape charge, as well as more serious charges of predatory sexual assault. Over 80 women have accused him of sexual assault or harassment and several took to the stands during the trial.
Journalist Ronan Farrow, who broke the story that led to the dozens of accusations in 2018, said this verdict was “the result of the decisions of multiple women to come forward to journalists and to prosecutors at great personal cost and risk.”
Other prominent figures in the MeToo movement who previously accused Weinstein of misconduct also praised the women who testified. Rose McGowan said she was “proud of the brave women” and that she “can finally exhale.
Ashley Judd said the women who testified “walked through traumatic hell” but did a public service in doing so.
Rosanna Arquette echoed that praise and also thanked the jury. She then called for a change in the legal process of reporting these kinds of crimes.
Others also expressed their support for the outcome. Hollywood figures like Judd Apatow, Rosie Perez, Julianne Moore, and Tatum O’Neal all took to Twitter to celebrate the verdict. President Donald Trump also spoke at a press conference saying that the convictions are “a great victory and sends a very strong message.”
“So I was never a fan of Harvey Weinstein as you know,” Trump added before speaking about the producer’s Democratic leanings. “In fact, he said he was going to work hard to defeat me. How did that work out by the way? I’m trying to figure out.”
Weinstein Maintains Innocence
While many applauded the jury’s decision, Weinstein, who faces more charges in Los Angeles, maintained his innocence.
“I’m innocent, I’m innocent, I’m innocent,” he said, according to a statement his lawyer gave to Variety. “How could this happen in America?”
Shortly after the ruling, while Weinstein was set to be transported to jail, he was taken to a nearby hospital. According to his lawyers, he was experiencing chest pains, heart palpitations, and high blood pressure. He reportedly stayed the night and is in good condition now.
Testimonies from Accusers
His ruling comes after a trial that lasted several weeks. Over the course of the trial, several women told their stories in graphic and disturbing testimonies.
Weinstein’s conviction for a criminal sexual act comes from the case of Miriam Haley, a former production assistant. In her testimony, she described what went through her mind the moment she realized she was being sexually assaulted.
“I started weighing up my options in my head, and I thought, okay, I’m not able to get away from him physically,” she said. “So I thought, I thought if I escalate this, if I scream rape, will someone hear me. If I start kicking even harder, will I have a chance to get away from him.”
“And if I do get all the way downstairs, is the driver in on it, will he be there standing guard ready to scoop me up if I get that far?” Haley added. “And I couldn’t even get away from him at all, let alone get out of the apartment. So ultimately after a while, I just checked out and decided to endure it, that was the safest thing for me to do at that point.”
Another testimony came from Jessica Mann, who testified that Weinstein raped her throughout the course of an abusive relationship, which was where the rape conviction stems from. Mann explained what the immediate aftermath of that rape felt like.
“I was scared to look at myself, but I did, and I saw that I had been crying long enough that my eyes were red and swollen at that point,” she said. “But I don’t know when I started to cry.”
She said that shortly after, Weinstein summoned her to speak to her again.
“I’m so sorry about earlier,” Weinstein said, according to Mann. “I just find you so attractive, I couldn’t resist.”
Annabella Sciorra gave testimony as a witness in the trial. While none of the charges against Weinstein pertained to her specifically, she alleges that Weinstein raped her. She said she tried to resist, but after it kept going she said. “I didn’t have very much fight left inside of me at that point.”
“It was just so disgusting that my body started to shake in a way that was very unusual,” she added. “I didn’t really know what was happening, it was like a seizure or something.”
After the verdict came in, Sciorra gave a statement to Variety about the relief that this provides for her.
“My testimony was painful but necessary,” Sciorra said. “We can never regret breaking the silence. For in speaking truth to power we pave the way for a more just culture, free of the scourge of violence against women.”
See what others are saying: (Variety) (Vanity Fair) (Deadline)
Upcoming “Karen” Movie Slammed as Rip-Off of Jordan Peele’s “Get Out”
The horror film follows a Black couple that moves into a house next door to a white woman named Karen.
“Karen” Trailer Goes Viral
The viral “Karen” trope is getting the Hollywood treatment, and people on Twitter would like a word with the film industry’s manager.
“Karen” has become a term used to describe entitled, and often racist, white women who are quick to call the cops or complain about customer service when things don’t go exactly their way. The upcoming movie, called “Karen,” is a horror picture that follows a Black couple that moves into a new house next door to a pearl necklace-wearing and Pinot Grigio-drinking white woman. Any guesses on what her name is?
The film, a BET Original, was written and directed by Coke Daniels and stars Taryn Manning as the titular “Karen.” Cory Hardrict and Jasmine Burke play the couple that’s new in town. The trailer was released on Thursday but started gaining traction online this week.
Throughout the trailer, Manning’s character is seen threatening to call the manager at a restaurant, setting up security cameras that look at her new neighbors’ house, and calling the cops on a group of teenagers while they record her in that now-familiar viral format.
She also says that Burke’s character is “slaving away in the kitchen” upon entering her home and tells a group of Black people, “you people are very angry.” It also appears that she owns a soap dispenser with the Confederate flag on it.
In case people watching were unable to put the glaringly obvious puzzle pieces together, a small child eventually says, “She doesn’t like Black people,” in the trailer.
Because the hammer is perhaps hitting the nail a little too harshly on the head, many wondered if it was even a real movie or some kind of “Saturday Night Live” parody.
Twitter Compares Film to “Get Out”
Others thought it looked like the film was ripping off Jordan Peele’s hit horror movie “Get Out,” which is about a Black man meeting his white girlfriend’s family.
“Get Out” was praised for using the horror genre to provide nuanced commentary and observations on racism in America. Peele won an Academy Award for the film’s original screenplay, and it was also nominated for Best Picture. “Karen,” on the other hand, is not likely to wind up part of the awards conversation come 2021.
Daniels ended up sharing an article comparing his upcoming project to “Get Out” on his Instagram story, also apologizing for bringing Peele into the online discourse.
Daniels previously told Deadline that he wrote this film in 2020 as discussions about race relations in the United States were reaching a boiling point.
“Last year during the global pandemic and civil unrest, I — like many of us — felt anger, despair and hopelessness,” he said. “The overwhelming amount of support from people around the globe, who want to see change, has been such an inspiration.”
“Karen” does not yet have a release date.
See what others are saying: (Esquire) (CNN) (Independent)
Carl Nassib Becomes First Active NFL Player To Come Out as Gay
While making his announcement, the athlete also pledged a $100,000 donation to The Trevor Project.
Nassib Comes Out
Carl Nassib, a defensive end for the Las Vegas Raiders, made history on Monday as the first active NFL player to come out as gay.
The 28-year-old made the announcement in an Instagram video, along with a longer written statement.
“I just want to take a quick moment to say that I’m gay. I’ve been meaning to do this for a while now, but I finally feel comfortable enough to get it off my chest. I really have the best life, I’ve got the best family, friends and job a guy could ask for,” he said in the post.
“I’m a pretty private person so I hope you guys know that I’m really not doing this for attention. I just think that representation and visibility are so important,” he continued.
“I actually hope that like one day, videos like this and the whole coming-out process are just not necessary. But until then, I’m going to do my best and do my part to cultivate a culture that’s accepting, that’s compassionate and I’m going to start by donating $100,000 to The Trevor Project.”
He also noted that he was thankful for the support from his NFL coaches and fellow players. “From the jump, I was greeted with the utmost respect and acceptance,” he wrote.
Praise From Sports Community
Nassib’s announcement was met with praise from his team on social media, as well as other athletes and the NFL itself.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell issued a statement on behalf of the league, saying that it “is proud of Carl for courageously sharing his truth.”
Several football fans and commentators, including sports reporter Jemele Hill, also pointed to the potential impact his bravery could have.
“Carl Nassib likely isn’t the only active gay player in the NFL, but him coming forward will be huge for those who haven’t gotten there yet,” HIll tweeted. “Very courageous decision that will not only help other players but so many young people in this country.”
See what others are saying:(ESPN)(The New York Times)(NBC News)
Billie Eilish Apologizes for Mouthing Racist Slur in Old Clip
Eilish said she is “appalled and embarrassed” to have mouthed along to a song containing the term, which she did not know was a slur at the time.
Video Shows Billie Eilish Using Slur
Singer Billie Eilish apologized Monday night for mouthing an anti-Asian racial slur in an old video that recently resurfaced on social media.
The clip was featured in a compilation that went viral on TikTok. In it, she was mouthing along to the song “Fish” by Tyler the Creator, which contains the slur. The compilation also showed her speaking in a voice that many interpreted as her mocking foreign accents or languages.
“I love you guys, and many of you have been asking me to address this,” Eilish wrote on her Instagram story. “And this is something that I WANT to address because I’m being labeled something that I am not.”
Eilish Apologizes for Mouthing Term
The “Bad Guy” singer said she was 13 or 14 at the time the video was taken, and claimed she had no idea the word was a derogatory term at the time.
“I am appalled and embarrassed and want to barf that I ever mouthed along to that word,” Eilish wrote. “This song was the only time I’d ever heard that word as it was never used around me by anyone in my family. Regardless of my ignorance and age at the time, nothing excuses the fact is that it was hurtful. And for that I am sorry.”
Regarding accusations that she mocked foreign accents and languages, the singer said she was speaking a “silly gibberish” that she made up as a child and uses around her pets, family, and friends in a joking manner.
“It is absolute gibberish and just me goofing around, and is in NO way an imitation of anyone or any language, accent or culture in the SLIGHTEST,” she added. “Anyone who knows me has seen me goofing around with voices my whole life.”
“Regardless of how it was interpreted I did not mean for any of my actions to have caused hurt to others and it absolutely breaks my heart that it is being labeled now in a way that might cause pain to people hearing it,” she continued.
The Grammy Award-winner said that she wants to use her platform to promote “inclusion, kindness, tolerance, equity, and equality.” She closed her statement by telling her followers that it is important for people to listen and learn when it comes to conversations about these subjects.
Read her full apology below.