Pin It
Rose McGowan and Ronan Farrow discuss Weinstein
Via Instagram @rosemcgowan

Rose McGowan on Harvey Weinstein: ‘I just want to take out the trash’

Following the disgraced producer’s guilty verdict at his rape trial, the actor speaks to journalist Ronan Farrow about the relief she feels and why it’s so important to speak out

On Monday (February 24), history was made as disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein was finally found guilty at his long-awaited rape trial. Now, in an interview with The New Yorker’s Ronan Farrow – who was one of the first to report on the producer’s crimes – survivor Rose McGowan reflects on her abuser’s guilty verdict.

“I haven’t exhaled in so long,” the actor said. “Today, I have this tiny feeling of this little chrysalis opening in my heart and chest right now. I think it feels like that girl that walked in that room to be raped by Weinstein, you know, at ten in the morning.” 

Speaking about how she felt once she saw the news, McGowan replied: “Honestly, joy. And then I thought, ‘I wonder if he’s going to hire a hitman to kill me?’ That was my other thought. And then I thought: ‘Should I have coffee this morning?’”

Weinstein was charged on two counts, but acquitted on three other charges – although the amount of women who have accused him of sexual misconduct surpasses 80. The producer was found guilty of committing a criminal sex act in the first degree and rape in the third degree, involving two different women. However, the New York jury also found him not guilty of two more serious charges or predatory sexual assault, as well as first-degree rape. The verdict means that Weinstein is facing up to 25 years in prison.

“For the American jury system, it’s pretty revolutionary in a lot of ways,” McGowan continued. “I was expecting him to totally walk, to be honest with you. It’s pretty amazing to have one less rapist on the street. Especially like a super rapist, like, head rapist in charge. It’s mind-boggling the kind of pathos and the level of dedication to rape that man had. I mean, wow. You’re really taking a hobby seriously. Actually, it was almost like the movies were the hobby and this was like… a rape factory.”

“In his brain, I still don’t think he thinks he’s done anything wrong because he’s sick,” the actor said, adding that Weinstein “deprived the world of a lot of amazing art”.

Speaking about her decision to be vocal throughout Weinstein’s trial and during the peak of the #MeToo movement – which stemmed from a New York Times exposé about decades of abuse by Weinstein – McGowan explained: “I wanted a cultural reset, and I wanted it to happen a lot faster than what people were doing. If society is walking around with a festering sore on its leg, and the only thing they do is pull their pant leg down farther, that’s a very sick society.”

She added: “What is activism? I could sit there and join an organisation and fight for women’s rights, or I could just take a big sword, cut the head off power, and be like: ‘See? This is how it’s done.’ Sometimes you have to lay on barbed wire so others can walk on your back, and that’s OK because I can take it. It doesn’t make it fun. I honestly didn’t know if I’d survive it at one point.” 

Weinstein is still set to face trial in Los Angeles, where he is charged with four more counts of rape and sexual battery. Speaking about the upcoming case, McGowan said: “I’ll see this through. I just want to take out the trash.”

She concluded: “I hope that, for Mimi, for me, for all of us, and for all the women that won’t come forward because they saw what happened to us, I hope their bodies rest a little easier tonight. The lasting impact (of this story) is that rape is not about sex, that this is a story of us unravelling abuse of power. What’s revolutionary is just saying things.”