It’s a story that looks set to run and run, and on Liveline, actresses Fionnuala Flanagan and Rebecca Storm weighed in on the Harvey Weinstein sexual harassment allegations.
Rebecca says "When I was young, I thought the world was full of Harvey Weinsteins. It felt like it was at the time. It’s quite a bit different for me now but he’s not on his own, put it that way. I’m delighted that these fantastic actresses have spoken up. It’s becoming a different world thank goodness. I think women are in much more positions of power than they ever were thirty-five years ago when I was kicking off my career and it’s great to see people are speaking out because I wouldn’t back then. I was too scared."
Rebecca had good reason to be scared. "The thing is when you do say no, or you go, ‘you must be joking,’ you’d be amazed how many doors are closed in your face."
She described times in her life when she felt the shadow of harassment hang over her. "I was a Yorkshire girl and I started my career in the colleges and then in the social clubs… There would be no locks on the dressing room door and they would barge in so I learned very quickly how to get dressed and undressed without taking off any clothes. I thought that was as far as the demons of life were going to go, but my goodness me I got a big shock when I moved down to London and you’re dealing with the big fish! You never quite know who to trust, it’s awfully sad when you’re young like that. Now I do think things are changing… I think women are getting more powerful and I think with social media and with things being more out in the open I don’t think it’s worth it to very successful, powerful men, in particular, to try and take advantage anymore. I think Harvey Weinstein is obviously ill."
Acclaimed actress Fionnula Flanagan rang in from LA to share her experiences of working with Weinstein, whom she brands as "a creep".
"It was an open secret," she said. "He was sort of repulsive in his behaviour towards women and that was well-known… It seems to be with actresses when they’re very young that he behaved so appallingly and I think it’s just so courageous of these women to come forward now, it’s not easy to do… He was a powerful person who could make or break a career and that’s what people feared. People were nervous about that. You do want to work and you have a right to work. He was just one producer but he was a powerful producer, particularly since he was known for his Oscar campaigns."
She’s also keen to point out that while this scandal is breaking from within Hollywood, such behaviour is common all over the world and within every industry. Rebecca says that people have probably been talking about this for a long time but now that women have stood up together, a breakthrough has taken place. Fionnula reckons this is only the beginning.
"I think what’s going to happen is a lot more people are going to spill the beans on other more powerful guys. There’s going to be a lot of quaking in boots."
Click here for the full conversation.