Rose McGowan has become a central protagonist in the Harvey Weinstein sexual harassment scandal and #MeToo social media movement highlighting the prevalence of unwanted sexual advances towards women—yet until today, she had not spoken in public about either.
On Friday morning, she appeared at The Women’s Convention in Detroit, where she addressed her accusation that the movie mogul raped her (a charge Weinstein denies). “I have been silenced for 20 years,” she told the audience. “I have been slut-shamed. I have been harassed. I have been maligned and you know what? I’m just like you. Because what happened to me behind the scenes happens to all of us in society and it cannot stand and it will not stand.”
After McGowan was banned by Twitter for publicly attacking fellow actor Ben Affleck on the platform (she alleges he lied about what he knew of Weinstein’s history of sexual misconduct), sympathizers started the hashtag #WomenBoycottTwitter—leading to a day-long boycott of the social media platform.
When she came back to the platform, McGowan dropped a number of bombshell accusations: That she had been raped by the movie producer and that, after she told this to an Amazon Studios executive, he told her that “it hadn’t been proven.” (Weinstein is out as head of The Weinstein Company.)
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Since the original Times story came out, more and more women have come forward with sexual harassment allegations against Weinstein. The number is currently in the 50s, and accusers include high-profile Hollywood stars like Ashley Judd, Angelina Jolie Gwyneth Paltrow, Lupita Nyong’o, and Cara Delevigne.
Another powerful movie industry man—director James Toback—has been accused of harassment by more than 300 women. Toback’s accusers include Rachel McAdams, Selma Blair, and Julianne Moore. (He denies all allegations.)