Harvey Weinstein’s allegations of sexual harassment and assault were an open secret in Hollywood.
But in a few occasions, comedians seemed to use the disguise of a joke to tell a much deeper and uncomfortable truth. Tina Fey alluded to it in a 30 Rock episode. And Seth MacFarlane did the same during the 2013 Oscar Nominations announcement, with Emma Stone co-presenting.
After reading the five female actors in the Supporting Actress category — Sally Field for Lincoln, Anne Hathaway for Les Miserables, Jacki Weaver for Silver Linings Playbook, Helen Hunt for The Sessions, and Amy Adams for The Master — MacFarlane said:
‘Congratulations, you five ladies no longer have to pretend to be attracted to Harvey Weinstein.’
The audience laughed at what at the time seemed just like an innocuously awkward joke. But certainly it assumes a much haunting nuance now, in the face of dozens of allegations of sexual harassment, assault, and rape.