Blythe Danner and Martha Plimpton Sound Off on Harvey Weinstein Scandal Reactions

Actresses criticize response to the sexual assault scandal that has rocked Hollywood

By Meg Swertlow Oct 18, 2017 10:09 PMTags

First come the reactions to the Harvey Weinstein sexual assault allegations then come the reaction to the reactions...

Both Blythe Danner and Martha Plimpton have penned letters to the editor of the famed New York Times in which both actresses take issue with responses to the shocking story.

Danner, who is the mother of Gwyneth Paltrow, one of Weinstein's alleged victims, defends her daughter in her letter, which is aimed at a recent story by NYT writer Maureen Dowd.

The mother wrote, "I cannot remain silent while Maureen Dowd disparages my daughter, Gwyneth Paltrow, for the manner in which she chose to handle Harvey Weinstein's attempt at a sexual encounter when she was 22 ("Harvey Weinstein, Hollywood's Oldest Horror Story," column, Oct. 15)."

Harvey Weinstein Resigns From the Weinstein Company's Board of Directors
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She explains that her daughter did do something. She wrote, "After her initial shock, Gwyneth left the room immediately, and, despite the fact that Mr. Weinstein threatened her if she ever spoke of what happened, she reported it to her agent and to her boyfriend at the time, Brad Pitt, who confronted Mr. Weinstein."

"Gwyneth did not 'put aside her qualms to become 'the first lady of Miramax' back then,' as Ms. Dowd would have it. She continued to hold her own and insist that Mr. Weinstein treat her with respect. She had learned from her father, the producer and director Bruce Paltrow, how to stand up for herself."

The veteran actress also explained that she hopes everything that has come to light will cause a real change in the system.

"As a longstanding member of the industry, I am much aware of the many years of its prejudiced and unacceptable behavior toward women," she wrote, "No one would argue that Harvey Weinstein isn't finally getting what he deserves. But I hope that this is the point of no return where change will occur, not only in our industry but also others."

The 74-year-old also made it clear that her daughter and the other victims weren't the one who should be thrown under the bus.

The Meet the Parents actress wrote, "I suggest that the pundits stop casting aspersions on the women who have confronted unwanted sexual advances in the manner each sees fit and concentrate on the constructive ways to prevent this behavior in the future."

Meanwhile, the Real O'Neals star's letter to the editor takes issue with Mayim Bialik's controversial op-ed piece over the weekend. 

The Big Bang Theory actress wrote in her piece, titled "Being a Feminist in Harvey Weinstein's World," that she has "experienced the upside of not being a 'perfect ten."

"As a proud feminist with little desire to diet, get plastic surgery or hire a personal trainer, I have almost no personal experience with men asking me to meetings in their hotel rooms," she said. "Those of us in Hollywood who don't represent an impossible standard of beauty have the 'luxury' of being overlooked and, in many cases, ignored by men in power unless we can make them money."

Plimpton responded to the piece, writing, "With all respect to Mayim Bialik on her considerable accomplishments, the positioning of sexual assault and harassment in the entertainment industry as a special club for pretty girls is offensive."

The 46-year-old actress, who has been appearing in both film and TV since she was 11, continued, "We must stop framing this as an issue for women to emotionally grapple with, as if it had anything to do with them. It is not women's responsibility to end systemic harassment by being better feminists or dressing modestly."

The longtime Hollywood actress continued, "Regardless of one's industry or line of work, sexual assault is a crime, not an occupational hazard of working while female."

Earlier this month, The New York Times and The New Yorker sent shock waves through the world when the publications alleged the movie mogul had been sexually assaulting and harassing women for over 30 years.

Weinstein has apologized for his behavior but denied all allegations of non-consensual sex.