Did Oprah Winfrey Say She Brought Young Women to Harvey Weinstein’s House?
Oprah Winfrey dismissed allegations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, saying “It’s just that way” for people who want to get ahead in the media industry.
Oprah Winfrey’s January 2018 Golden Globes Cecil B. deMille acceptance speech may have prompted calls for the entertainment mogul’s 2020 presidential nomination, but it was also met with attempts to smear her character that are usually unfounded and almost always in were meme form.
In one such meme, the former talk show host’s image is overlaid with an unattributed quote (allegedly from Winfrey) describing how he brought young women into the home of Harvey Weinstein, a film producer who was the victim of several women of decades of sexual assault and was accused of harassment in an October 2017 story:
There was nothing illegal about me introducing Harvey Weinstein to very young women [sic] home. Most were over 21. What they did was none of my business. That’s the way it is in the industry if you want to get ahead. ~ Oprah Winfrey
The first indication that this is a fictional quote is the fact that the meme contains information as to where or when Winfrey allegedly said it. Weinstein’s alleged misdeeds and various reactions from celebrities and politicians were widely covered in the months that followed New York Times bomb report that he paid several of his accusers, but we have not been able to find this quote in any credible publication.
Additionally, the unapologetic and insouciant tone used in this meme is in stark contrast to the comments that we know Winfrey actually spoke about the allegation against Weinstein. The talk show host described Weinstein’s behavior on Facebook as “despicable”. postnoted in a CBS interview that the problem of sexual harassment goes much further than just Weinstein and Hollywood:
“If we only do this about Harvey Weinstein, then we’ve lost that [watershed] Wait a minute,” Winfrey said. “I think this is a moment where no matter what business you work in, there were women who not only had the disease to please, that’s part of it, but the felt that, to keep my job, to keep my position, to keep moving forward i have to smile, i have to look away, i have to pretend he didn’t say that, i have to pretend he did me not touched – I think those days will be over soon.”
Although it could be argued that Oprah Winfrey bears some of the responsibility shared by the rest of Hollywood for allowing sexual predatory rampage to thrive for decades (if not generations), this meme is a hoax and there’s no indication that she ever met Weinstein has helped find alleged victims and has not dismissed any of the allegations against him.