Seth MacFarlane Says His Harvey Weinstein Joke Came From ‘A Place of Loathing and Anger’

A clip of Seth MacFarlane joking about Harvey Weinstein’s inappropriate behavior at the 2013 Oscar nominations has gone viral in light of this week’s allegations. Now, MacFarlane is providing some additional context to this joke and revealing that a friend of his was allegedly harassed by Weinstein.

On Twitter on Wednesday, MacFarlane said that in 2011, actress Jessica Barth confided in him that she had been sexually harassed by Harvey Weinstein; Barth played Ted’s girlfriend Tami-Lynn in MacFarlane’s movies Ted and Ted 2. Barth has since come forward publicly with these allegations.

It was in this context that MacFarlane joked at the 2013 Oscar nominations that the five nominees for Best Supporting Actress “no longer have to pretend to be attracted to Harvey Weinstein.” In his statement today, MacFarlane said that he made this joke because he was extremely angry about the Weinstein allegations and wanted to call him out publicly for them.

“It was with this account in mind that, when I hosted the Oscars in 2013, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to take a hard swing in his direction,” MacFarlane said. “Make no mistake, this came from a place of loathing and anger. There is nothing more abhorrent and indefensible than abuse of power such as this.”

MacFarlane went on to say that he applauds his friend Jessica for sharing her story about Harvey Weinstein, and he applauds all of the women who have been speaking out over the past week as well.

The Weinstein Company typically has one film that they push at the Academy Awards every year, and when Seth MacFarlane hosted the Oscars in 2013, that movie was Silver Linings Playbook. Jennifer Lawrence ended up taking home the award for Best Actress that evening. MacFarlane’s joke came during the announcement of the Oscar nominations a few weeks before the ceremony; he did not joke about Weinstein’s reputation during the actual Oscars itself.

This clip of MacFarlane’s joke has been used as an example of the fact that Weinstein behaving inappropriately around women was something of an open secret in Hollywood, even though some celebrities have claimed that they did not know about it. Another joke about Weinstein came on an episode of 30 Rock in 2012, with Jane Krakowski’s character Jenna Maroney saying, “Oh, please, I’m not afraid of anyone in show business. I turned down intercourse with Harvey Weinstein on no less than three occasions. Out of five.”

Clearly, Harvey Weinstein’s behavior was known in at least some way, even if the full extent of it was not widely understood. In his statement on Wednesday, actor Ewan McGregor, who has worked with Weinstein on 11 films, said that he had heard rumors about the producer being inappropriate with women but had no idea how serious the allegations were.

Actress Rose McGowan, who alleges that Harvey Weinstein raped her in 1997, has been calling out celebrities on Twitter, saying that they all knew and did nothing.