Ellen Pompeo Defends Herself Over Criticism For Harvey Weinstein Comments

Photo: Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for VIOLET GREY.
Ellen Pompeo is setting the record straight. 
Days ago, an old clip resurfaced on social media, showing the Grey’s Anatomy actress discussing the disturbing occurrence of sexual harassment in Hollywood during a May 2018 Oxford Union Q&A panel. Harvey Weinstein’s name was brought up in the conversation — which occurred months after his history of sexual harassment was made public — and Pompeo spoke about her personal experience with him.
"I do think we bear some responsibility, not all, but it takes two to tango, for sure," Pompeo replied to a question about how the industry would be affected post-#MeToo. "And that's not to blame the victims. That's just to say I did go into a room with Harvey Weinstein, I sat at a table with him. I had probably a two and a half hour conversation with him. He never said anything inappropriate to me, he never made any sort of physical advance to me.”
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"He did nothing inappropriate toward me," she added. "Now had he, I would've picked up that glass and smashed him across the side of the face with it. It's all what we're willing to tolerate. And our self esteem: what are we going to put up with...to be accepted? How bad do you want to be in show business?"
Years later, fans are taking the commentary as victim-blaming, accusing Pompeo of siding with the now-convicted rapist. “what the fvck is wrong with ellen pompeo?” wrote the Twitter user who shared the 2018 clip days ago. “this is absolutely DISGUSTING.”
It didn’t take long for Pompeo to catch wind of the Twitter conversation about her comments, and the actress logged on to clarify, saying that it had been taken “out of context.”
“For those who feel offended or are taking this personally this panel was 2 + years ago and it was way before the whole stories of the women came out,” Pompeo tweeted. “I Certainly didn’t know he was a rapist at that point ...  that took shit  to a whole different level.”
“And... I’m talking about harassment... not assault. Two different things,” the thread continued. “I was speaking about MY experience of being harassed in Hollywood and my outlook on it.”
When she was informed that the New York Times article about Weinstein’s abuse had in fact been released long before her panel, Pompeo claimed that she had not been following the case that closely. Still, she stressed her acknowledgement of the fact that Hollywood is built on a misogynist culture that silences women.
"for years before times up women had to put up with harassment and still do on a regular basis," tweeted Pompeo. "it was just part of the job as it is in a lot or all professions ...we couldn’t complain like we can now. If we complained we would be out and the man would stay."

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