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L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti on Harvey Weinstein scandal: 'There's no place for this — sorry, Harvey'

 (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)
(Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti had no shortage of harsh words Tuesday for embattled producer Harvey Weinstein, who has been accused of sexual assault and harassment by numerous women, including high-profile actresses Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie.

But the mayor also took pains to note that Hollywood's lackluster record on its treatment of women extends beyond the current scandal, which the New York Times and the New Yorker ignited with explosive stories about Weinstein's alleged misconduct.

Garcetti, speaking at an appearance at the Sacramento Press Club on Tuesday, said he had little personal interaction with Weinstein, noting he met the producer and his wife just once around five years ago.

The mayor said he had received one political contribution from Weinstein; campaign finance records show the producer donated $1,300 to Garcetti's 2013 mayoral campaign. Garcetti said that money has been donated to the Downtown Women's Center, which offers services to homeless women.

"Look, it was disturbing to learn. It is disturbing the response," Garcetti said. "And it falls short of what I would expect of any leader of any industry, so I think what has happened to him is right and just."

Garcetti said he hoped the recent stories will inspire more women to speak out, not just about the powerful mogul, but their own experiences of abuse, pointing to what he called an "amazing Twitter thread" by writer Anne T. Donahue, in which women recounted tales of their "own Harvey Weinsteins." 

Harvey Weinstein at the Academy Awards in 2016. (Jean Baptiste Lacroix / AFP/Getty Images)
Harvey Weinstein at the Academy Awards in 2016. (Jean Baptiste Lacroix / AFP/Getty Images)

"There’s no place for this. There never was a place for it — sorry, Harvey," he continued. "But it is something that we have to continue to make sure that people realize it happens all the time."

Garcetti then turned his attention to Hollywood more broadly, noting research by USC Annenberg that found that few women in the industry hold positions of power, such as studio heads, producers or directors.

"For a liberal industry, it has one of the worst records, just as tech is a liberal industry," Garcetti said. "Whether it’s with people of color, women — we’ve got to do better."

The mayor touted his administration's own efforts to combat the gender-power imbalance by offering job placements to female students and students of color, arguing that instilling empowerment at an early age will make a sexist industry less so.

"But we should all collectively raise our voice against it whenever we see it," he added. "And I’ll leave it up to every Democrat what to do, or even Republicans he might have given to. I didn’t want that money anymore."   

Read The Times' full coverage of the Harvey Weinstein sexual harassment scandal.

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