“Walking Dead” actress Ann Mahoney stepped out and spoke out last week about the Harvey Weinstein allegations. The actress took no prisoners as she hit the red carpet at a premiere in Los Angeles for her latest movie “ Same Kind of Different as Me.”
Casting needs to be opened up for women across age, color, and what we typically talk about as beautiful.
Mahoney told Variety.com “I think change has to happen –if it has to happen this way then this is the perfect way for it to go and hopefully this will make others who are doing this stop.”
“I have faced this type of behavior but not in Hollywood. Â It was always in the theatre. Fortunately, I was never put in a position where I was forced to do anything inappropriate. But many, many men in the theatre felt as if they somehow had a right to me – because they felt my abilities or success as an actress were because of them. So, let’s say, I have known men with unhealthy obsessions with me because of my work as an actress. I always changed the subject or left the party or the room if I felt the tiniest inkling of anything untoward. But, that was in the relatively low stakes environment of non-professional theatre. I am not sure how I would have reacted if I had faced this when a job that could make my career was on the line.” Adds Mahoney.
Mahoney plays a homeless prostitute named Clara in the film “ Same Kind of Different as Me” and hopes that this will be a turning point for women in Hollywood. Â “Casting needs to be opened up for women across age, color, and what we typically talk about as beautiful.”
Weinstein is facing numerous sexual assault charges and the company he founded is facing a potentially costly lawsuit over his conduct. More than a dozen women have accused Weinstein of rape, and more than 50 women have gone public describing his inappropriate behavior towards them.
“I think it is time for change, and with the Weinstein sexual harassment and assaults becoming public, women in Hollywood are finally sensing a massive change. I think the choice to speak out or not has to be up to the survivor of the sexual assault and harassment. It traumatizes the victim all over again to have to recount the abuse. That is certainly one reason. Another is probably because many women probably fear this will just go by the wayside, once again, and Hollywood will be back to “business as usual” before long. Â The power that these men hold over the business is significant, and I am sure many of us fear for future work.” Says Mahoney.
Weinstein 65 is known for his career in the independent film industry, moving into the world of fashion in in the last two decades executive producing “Project Runway.” He is now under investigation in Los Angeles, New York, and London.
According to the La Times, nearly a dozen people with ties to the industry – including models, casting directors, publicists and executives connected to “Project Runway” said that he used fashion as a pipeline to women. They said that models, often young and working overseas far from home, were particularly vulnerable.
Mahoney adds, “Power corrupts. Â Or perhaps, like a drug, it enhances what already exists inside a person. At least it seems to corrupt some men that are in businesses that are powerful. And make no mistake, these sexual abuses are not about sex. They are about power. These despicable acts are about one human being with a very high status preying on another human being of perceived status… and getting away with it.”
The hit program is considered to be one of Weinstein’s most lucrative franchises. He leveraged its popularity to land a huge $150-million, five-year deal in 2008 with Lifetime, where he moved the show from Bravo.
“Same Kind of Different as Me,” opened on Oct. 20, is based on the true-life events of Ron Hall (Greg Kinnear), Deborah Hall (RenÃ©e Zellweger), and Denver Moore (Djimon Hounsou). It follows Hall, an art dealer, and his path to friendship with Moore, a homeless man with a traumatic past but unwavering faith. Â The real Ron Hall was also in attendance, he introduced the film by paying tribute to Deborah, who passed away in 1999, and Moore, who died in 2012.