Ashley Judd on Her Decision to Speak Out Against Harvey Weinstein
Fresh off her first televised interview about her experiences with Harvey Weinstein, Ashley Judd was honored at the Women's Media Center's Women in Media Awards.
Alongside women's rights legend Gloria Steinem, Judd spoke to “Extra's” AJ Calloway about the honor, which recognized her for speaking out against sexual harassment. She said, "I feel glorious. I feel protected that I am in the most powerful community in the world. I know that I am part of something that is historic and unprecedented and I feel... divine is a pretty accurate word.”
Gloria, saying she was proud of Ashley, pointed out that it brings tears to her eyes. “These types of crimes... there's a kind of critical mass in the culture that sexual abuse is okay, racism is okay, things have to be cumulative at the moment before they are perceived, but we, thanks to Ashley, have reached a tipping point.”
As one of the first women who spoke out in the New York Times about Weinstein's alleged abuses, Judd's comments paved the way for many others to come forward. Judd commented, “I was very thankful that when I went on that run on Peach Holler Road that I decided to be a named source in The New York Times. Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey, who wrote the piece, are here because there was something about being a named source in a newspaper like The New York Times that gave others the permission that we had previously been afraid to give ourselves. Having the backing of that particular media outlet, that venerable institution, was important.”
Judd praised the support of the newspaper, sharing, “I had the full support of the editorial board, of the publishers, of their legal team and, you know, as much as each of us, I think, individually wanted to tangle with Harvey, that's a very tall order when you're looking at the kinds of resources and power that he has and also the effectiveness of DARVO — deny, attack, reverse the order of victim and offender.”
Gloria opened up on her feelings about the enablers, emphasizing, "Well, as somebody who used to write for The New York Times a long time ago, I would deliver my manuscript to the Sunday Times Magazine and the editor would give me... one of the editors would give me a choice: either I could go to a hotel room with him in the afternoon or I could mail his letters on the way out. Okay. Cumulatively, I hope and pray those days are gone.”
"I say that just to say that it is not only in one place. It is a culture-wide problem of a hierarchy that sexualizes dominance." Saying "a few women, too" are guilty of exploiting their positions of power, Gloria added, "The problem is the system of dominance."