Barack isn’t playing with folks today!
While A-list actresses Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie have come out accusing movie mogul Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment, former President Obama is weighing in on the controversy.
And he is not holding back!
In a recent statement, he said that he and the wifey, former First Lady Michelle Obama, were “disgusted” with the news reports that the multiple Oscar winner had been abusing his power, sexually assaulting & harassing young actresses, models and female employees over the last 20 years.
“Michelle and I have been disgusted by the recent reports about Harvey Weinstein,” Obama wrote.
He added: “Any man who demeans and degrades women in such fashion needs to be condemned and held accountable, regardless of wealth or status. We should celebrate the courage of women who have come forward to tell these painful stories. And we all need to build a culture — including by empowering our girls and teaching our boys decency and respect — so we can make such behavior less prevalent in the future.”
NEW: Pres Obama & Michelle Obama say they're "disgusted by the recent reports about Harvey Weinstein." pic.twitter.com/9h4RnbegtB
— Peter Alexander (@PeterAlexander) October 10, 2017
Obviously, Obama is speaking out because he’s a stand-up dude who respects women, but we also gotta point out that his 19-year-old daughter, Malia, interned for Weinstein’s company last year. That's gotta really weigh on him right now. #WhoKnew
But, President Obama isn’t the only brotha taking issue with Weinstein’s alleged predatory behavior.
Black Panther director Ryan Coogler, whose feature debut Fruitvale Station was released by The Weinstein Co., released a statement late Tuesday night stressing that he was “saddened” by this news and that “sexual harassment is a human rights violation.”
"I am disturbed and saddened at the news that several women have been victimized by a person I had come to know through the purchase of my first feature film. While I had no further business dealings with Harvey Weinstein, and no knowledge of this predatory behavior, my career did benefit from this brief involvement. Because of that, I feel a responsibility to speak up on this issue.
I love working as a storyteller. But I work in an industry that too many times has proven to not be a safe space for women. I make it a priority to ensure that there is gender equity and an inclusive work environment on every project I am involved with. However, just minding our business sometimes isn’t enough. It goes without saying, but I will state it now: sexual harassment is a human rights violation, sexual assault is a human rights violation, rape is a human rights violation.
The entertainment industry, like many others, has a historic imbalance of power among gender that allows these violations to run rampant. As men we sit in positions of privilege. It is our responsibility to leverage our position, and be allies to the women in our industry. We need to do everything we can to make sure violations like these don’t continue to happen. The first step is to listen. Salute to the brave women who came forward. I could never imagine how difficult that must be."
Y’all better speak on it!
Tracey Pennywell is a writer, foodie, dog lover and CEO of Switch Media, Inc, a blog management and social media company with clients that include DL Hughley, Michael Blackson, Kym Whitley, Tatyana Ali & more.