“Harvey Weinstein, that’s all we talk about. It’s horrible,” she said when Wintour asked what she and her family discuss around the dinner table. “We want them to be free, we want them to be proud, we want them to be female. You put them in danger by not informing them about the male gaze and how it works on young girls.”
She also praised the swift action that’s been taken against Weinstein, saying she’s optimistic for the future.
“This moment is absolutely thrilling,” she said. “This is a door that will not be closed, we’ve got our foot in their now. It’ll be very difficult to conduct their lives the way they have in the past.”
“‘Oh that’s just locker room talk. Oh that’s just the way men are,’” she said, mocking common excuses used for inappropriate behavior. “No it’s not. We’re civilized people and we learn form our mistakes.”
Weinstein, one of the most prolific modern Oscars influencers, was recently ousted from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences following multiple allegations of sexual misconduct. He is only the second member to be expelled from the 8,427-member Oscars group.
Streep said she expects the upcoming award season to be more “aware.”
“I think it might lead to the moment where, at least in my business, where people walk into a room and they see three women and nine men and they think there’s something wrong. That it’s off.”
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Weinstein, 65, has been accused of sexual misconduct by over 50 women including Cara Delevingne, Ashley Judd, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Angelina Jolie since The New York Times and The New Yorker documented decades of alleged sexual misconduct and sexual assault involving a number of women in detailed articles in October.
A spokesperson for Weinstein previously told PEOPLE in a statement that in addition to denying any non-consensual sex, “Mr. Weinstein has further confirmed that there were never any acts of retaliation against any women for refusing his advances.”
Streep was nominated for an Academy Award for her turn in 2013’s August: Osage County, which Weinstein executive produced. She won an Academy Award for 2012’s Weinstein Company release, The Iron Lady. At the 2012 Golden Globes, upon accepting the award for Best Actress (Drama) for her performance in The Iron Lady, Streep said: “I just want to thank my agent and God Harvey Weinstein.”
Following the initial NYT report, Streep called Weinstein’s behavior “inexcusable.”
“The disgraceful news about Harvey Weinstein has appalled those of us whose work he championed, and those whose good and worthy causes he supported,” said Streep in a statement Monday. “The intrepid women who raised their voices to expose this abuse are our heroes. One thing can be clarified. Not everybody knew. Harvey supported the work fiercely, was exasperating but respectful with me in our working relationship, and with many others with whom he worked professionally.”
The Oscar-winner further claimed, “I didn’t know about these other offenses: I did not know about his financial settlements with actresses and colleagues; I did not know about his having meetings in his hotel room, his bathroom, or other inappropriate, coercive acts. And If everybody knew, I don’t believe that all the investigative reporters in the entertainment and the hard news media would have neglected for decades to write about it.”
“The behavior is inexcusable, but the abuse of power familiar,” said Streep. “Each brave voice that is raised, heard and credited by our watchdog media will ultimately change the game.”