In her first public remarks since accusing film producer Harvey Weinstein of rape, Rose McGowan on Friday excoriated sexual misconduct in Hollywood and called on women to stand up to abuse.
“I have been silenced for 20 years,” McGowan said at the Women’s Convention in Detroit. “I have been slut-shamed. I have been harassed. I have been maligned. And you know what? I’m just like you.”
Raising a fist in the air, the “Scream” actress implored women to “clean house” in male-dominated Hollywood and continue to come forward with stories of sexual harassment and assault.
“We are pure and we are strong and we will fight,” she said. “My name is Rose McGowan, and I am brave, and I am you.”
McGowan, 44, has emerged as the most fierce and unrelenting critic of Weinstein, who stands accused of sexual harassment and assault of women over at least three decades.
“The triggering has been insane,” McGowan told the audience at the convention, an event organized by the leaders of the Women’s March. “The monster’s face has been everywhere, my nightmare,” she added, apparently referencing Weinstein.
She reached a previously undisclosed settlement with the Oscar-winning producer in 1997 “after an episode in a hotel room” during the Sundance Film Festival, The New York Times reported.
A legal document reviewed by The Times said the $100,000 settlement was “not to be construed as an admission” by the producer; it was meant to avoid litigation and “buy peace.” (McGowan did not comment to the newspaper.)
Paul Sancya / AP
A representative for Weinstein has unequivocally denied all allegations of non-consensual sex.
In scores of blistering social media posts this month, many with the hashtag #RoseArmy, McGowan has blasted what she describes as a pervasive culture of mistreatment and silence in Hollywood. She struck a similar chord in her speech on Friday, telling the audience it was “time to rise [and] time to be brave.”
“What happened to me behind the scenes happens to all of us in this society, and that cannot stand and it will not stand,” McGowan said. “We are free. We are strong. We are one massive collective voice.”