Tom Hanks has responded to the Harvey Weinstein sexual assault allegations for the first time.
In an interview with The New York Times published on Wednesday, Hanks spoke about a variety of topics, with the subject of the Harvey Weinstein allegations coming up near the end of the conversation. First, Hanks suggested that the reports were not entirely surprising for him to hear.
“I’ve never worked with Harvey,” Hanks said. “But, aah, it all just sort of fits, doesn’t it?”
The New York Times reporter then asked Hanks why Harvey Weinstein was sheltered for so long when so many people knew about the abuse that was taking place.
“Well, that’s a really good question and isn’t it part and parcel to all of society somehow, that people in power get away with this?” Hanks responded. “Look, I don’t want to rag on Harvey but so obviously something went down there. You can’t buy, ‘Oh, well, I grew up in the ’60s and ’70s and so therefore…’ I did, too. So I think it’s like, well, what do you want from this position of power? I know all kinds of people that just love hitting on, or making the lives of underlings some degree of miserable, because they can.”
Hanks went on to say that when a person becomes rich and powerful, they become more of what they already are, and he believes that this is what happened with Weinstein, who he called a “a big fat ass” before correcting himself to take out the word “fat.”
“But I’m not, you know, I’m not the first person to say Harvey’s a bit of an ass,” Hanks said. “Poor Harvey — I’m not going to say poor Harvey, Jesus. Isn’t it kind of amazing that it took this long? I’m reading it and I’m thinking ‘You can’t do that to Ashley Judd! Hey, I like her. Don’t do that. That ain’t fair. Not her, come on. Come on!’”
In the wake of the Harvey Weinstein allegations, a number of celebrities have come out with statements saying that they had no idea about Weinstein’s behavior, particularly those who have worked with him like Matt Damon. But with this new interview, Hanks appears to be implying that he at least knew that Harvey was not a great person, though it’s not clear whether he was aware of the extent of the abuse going on.
As Hanks mentions in the interview, he has not worked with Harvey Weinstein. At the 1998 Academy Awards, Tom Hanks’ movie Saving Private Ryan was pitted against Harvey Weinstein’s movie Shakespeare in Love in a famously brutal Oscars race that reportedly made Harvey Weinstein and Steven Spielberg hate one another for years afterwards. When asked about the Weinstein allegations last week, Spielberg did not want to comment because he felt the subject was off the topic of the movie he was promoting, but he did say that he has a lot of thoughts on it.
“For one thing, I think that is a subject that is not on keynote for what we’re talking about here tonight,” Spielberg said. “It’s a subject I don’t shy from, but it’s not relevant to what we’re discussing about Susan’s movie today. I have a lot of opinions about that, but not for this event tonight.”