In light of the numerous accusations of sexual harassment and assault against producer Harvey Weinstein, Jane Fonda and Gloria Steinem are speaking out, and they are not mincing words. The duo made an appearance on the MSNBC show All in with Chris Hayes to discuss the allegations—and they held nothing back.
“It feels like something has shifted,” Fonda said. “It’s too bad that it’s probably because so many of the women that were [allegedly] assaulted by Harvey Weinstein are famous and white and everybody knows them. This has been going on a long time to black women and other women of color and it doesn’t get out quite the same.”
Her spotlight on the factors of fame and race in public awareness and media coverage comes after Lupita Nyong'o—one of the few women of color to have accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct—opened up about uncomfortable experiences with the producer in a New York Times op-ed. Through a rep, Weinstein issued his only response that directly named an actress and specifically disputed her claim: “Mr. Weinstein has a different recollection of the events, but believes Lupita is a brilliant actress and a major force for the industry. Last year, she sent a personal invitation to Mr. Weinstein to see her in her Broadway show Eclipsed.”
Weinstein also denied all claims of sexual assault in a separate statement through a representative: “Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein.”
Fonda and Steinem were on the show specifically as representatives and spokespeople for The Women's Media Center, which they co-founded back in 2005 with poet Robin Morgan. Steinem gave her own thoughts about the Weinstein scandal, citing bias as a reason why accusers weren't believed until they came out in masses.
“If you steal money, you probably get arrested and convicted, because everybody says stealing is wrong. But if you do something that is very sexist or racist, because there still is a critical mass of bias in this country, it takes more cumulative instances for it to be recognized,” Steinem said. “So we have reached a tipping point I think.”
We certainly hope so.
Watch their appearance in the video above.