Oliver Stone condemns 'vigilante system' going after Weinstein

Film director Oliver Stone, who embraced the Castros in Cuba and Hugo Chávez in Venezuela, says he is sympathetic to what the serial sexual harasser Harvey Weinstein is going through and condemned the "vigilante system" that is accusing him.

Hollywood Reporter:

Oliver Stone intitially [sic] declined to condemn Harvey Weinstein over the mounting allegations of sexual assault that have engulfed the once celebrated film producer. 

Stone addressed the international media Friday morning at the Busan International Film Festival in South Korea, where he is serving as chair of the event's competition jury. It wasn't long before he was asked for his reaction to the Weinstein allegations, along with whether he was aware of the many rumors about Weinstein's behavior over the years. 

"I'm a believer that you wait until this thing gets to trial," Stone said. "I believe a man shouldn't be condemned by a vigilante system. It's not easy what he's going through, either. During that period he was a rival. I never did business with him and didn't really know him. I've heard horror stories on everyone in the business, so I'm not going to comment on gossip. I'll wait and see, which is the right thing to do."

On Thursday, police in New York and London confirmed they were investigating Weinstein for sexual assault. The investigations follow Tuesday's exposé in The New Yorker in which three women accused Weinstein of rape. Days before the New Yorker piece, The New York Times rocked Hollywood with its own investigation into Weinstein, in which the Miramax co-founder was accused of sexual harassment by multiple women, including Ashley Judd. Since then, many more women have come forward with allegations of sexual harassment by Weinstein, including Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow, Léa Seydoux, Cara Delevingne and others.

Stone's remarks stood in contrast to a wave of industry condemnation of the embattled mogul. A sampling of those who have commented, with criticism of Weinstein and support for the alleged victims, includes: Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks, Bob Iger, Colin Firth, Judi Dench, Hillary Clinton, Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio, Charlize Theron, Cate Blanchett, Jennifer Lawrence, Barack and Michelle Obama and many more. 

Later in the day, Stone walked back his remarks, posting a message on Facebook saying he had been unaware of the extent of the allegations against Weinstein because of his travel schedule. 

"After looking at what has been reported in many publications over the last couple of days, I’m appalled and commend the courage of the women who’ve stepped forward to report sexual abuse or rape," Stone wrote. 

More likely than Stone being "unaware" of the extent of Weinstein's crimes, he is well aware of the attacks on Hollywood from the right and wanted to push back.

But a man who embraced murderous thugs like Fidel Castro and Hugo Chávez would naturally see another side of Weinstein – a reliable ally for leftist causes in Hollywood.  In Stone's eyes, you don't throw a friend of the cause under the bus.

Stone will not be criticized for his Johnny-come-lately condemnation of Weinstein.  That's just how it is in Hollywood.  Everyone knows that Stone's heart is in the right place when it comes to far-left activism, which can forgive a multitude of sins.

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