A number of stars have accused American film producer Weinstein of sexual harrassment, including Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow. The list is growing longer every day, with three women saying they were raped, allegations which he denies.
But according to one of Sweden's most famous actors, Stellan Skarsgård – who had an international breakthrough in Good Will Hunting (1997), produced by Weinstein among others – the problem goes further and deeper.
“The man has been crushed and it is pointless to keep kicking. It only makes people think that it's about one single bad apple when this is a problem that exists wherever there is power and powerlessness and lots of women and men are exposed to daily abuse. And only some of it has to do with sex,” Skarsgård said in a text message sent to public broadcaster SVT's culture news show Kulturnyheterna on Friday.
Swedish director Lisa Langseth, whose latest movie Euphoria was shown at the Toronto Film Festival, told Kulturnyheterna that Weinstein's behaviour was openly known as Hollywood's worst kept secret.
“It's is so good that this is out, everyone has known about this for ages. It is just strange it's taken this long,” said Langseth. “Everyone knew about it. I don't know him, but still knew about it.”
She told Kulturnyheterna she had experienced a similar culture of power and silence in the Swedish theatre world around 15 years ago, but not these days and never in the Swedish movie world, she said.
“It doesn't exist in the same way any more and I am convinced that such structures are unsustainable. Those people don't have that kind of power in Sweden. There aren't production companies like that, we're too small a country.”
On Thursday two French actors – Bond girl Léa Seydoux and Florence Darel – became the latest to accuse Weinstein of sexual assault, with Seydoux saying she had been forced to defend herself against him.
“We were talking on the sofa when he suddenly jumped on me and tried to kiss me. I had to defend myself,” Seydoux wrote in an article in The Guardian, while Darel told French media that Weinstein had promised to make her big in the US if she became his mistress. These are only some of the many allegations.
Weinstein has since been fired from his production company, his wife has said she is leaving him, and both NYPD and the Metropolitan police in London are investigating sexual abuse allegations made against him.
He denies many of the claims, saying via a spokesperson to The New Yorker that “with respect to any women who have made allegations on the record, (he) believes that all of these relationships were consensual”.