Joe Biden rebukes Harvey Weinstein and urges Hollywood to speak up about sexual assault

Joe bidenMark Makela/Getty ImagesFormer Vice President Joe Biden.

Former Vice President Joe Biden had terse words for Harvey Weinstein on Wednesday, as a growing sexual-harassment scandal continued to engulf the movie mogul.

Biden called Weinstein’s recent firing a “justifiable end” to what has been described as a long history of abuse by the Hollywood executive.

Speaking at a fundraiser for a nonprofit organisation, Biden railed against Weinstein, who is accused of engaging in sexual misconduct spanning decades, according to a New York Times report. Several women have since emerged with additional allegations against Weinstein.

“This disgusting behaviour, at least on the part of Harvey Weinstein, has been brought to an abrupt and justifiable end,” Biden said, according to BuzzFeed News. “A man who had power over scores of women and their careers — the ultimate abuse of power in a disgusting, immoral, and inexcusable way.”

Biden has long been a proponent of women’s rights, giving several speeches and establishing a foundation to end violence against women.

Biden also offered an anecdote, along with advice to people in the entertainment industry.

“My father taught me the greatest sin that could be committed was the abuse of power, whether it was mental, physical or economic,” Biden said. “And the ultimate — the cardinal sin — was for a man to use his power, physical or economic, to abuse a woman or a child. It’s disgusting.”

“But it’s long past time for the powerful men in Hollywood to speak up, to be strong enough to say something, because silence is complicity.”

Following The Times’ report, The New Yorker published the accounts of three women who accused Weinstein of rape. Weinstein’s company fired him on Sunday and his wife, designer Georgina Chapman, said she was leaving him.

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