Jennifer Aniston spoke out about experiencing Harvey Weinstein’s “piggish behavior” and #MeToo
For this week’s “Power of Women” issue, Variety sat down with Jennifer Aniston to talk The Morning Show, philanthropy, and her experience with disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein. Aniston recalled having to work with Weinstein on the film Derailed in the early 2000s, and she told Variety she was upset with his “piggish behavior.”
"I remember I was sitting at the dinner table with Clive [Owen], and our producers and a friend of mine was sitting with me," Aniston recounted. "[Weinstein] literally came to the table and said to my friend: 'Get up!' And I was like, 'Oh my gosh.' And so my friend got up and moved and Harvey sat down."
“It was just such a level of gross entitlement and piggish behavior,” Aniston said.
Aniston noted that Weinstein never assaulted her, as he did other women during his reign in Hollywood. However, she did recall one instance of bullying when Weinstein visited her in London while they were shooting Derailed. At the time, his then-wife Georgina Chapman’s clothing line, Marchesa, was launching.
“He’d be like, ‘Okay, so I’d like you to wear one of these to the premiere…’ He was like, ‘You have to wear the dress,’” she said. “That was my only bullying. And I was like, ‘No, I will not wear the dress.’”
As for the #MeToo movement, Aniston believes that Hollywood has been changed for the better because women and men have opened up about their negative experiences with Hollywood elites.
“I think there’s still room for improvement, but I think that kind of behavior is done,” she told Variety. “I think people have had the shit scared out of them.”
She continued, "Everybody has this new playbook and everybody’s trying to figure out what the new rules are. But what’s so wonderful about doing [The Morning Show] is that it is so unapologetically honest in terms of topics and the situations. It’s basically showing all sides. It’s showing how things are said behind closed doors during Me Too, that no one else has the balls to say in front of the world."
Aniston plays news anchor Alex Levy in the upcoming Apple TV Plus drama. The show draws inspiration from the real-life events cable news experienced during the #MeToo movement, such as Matt Lauer and Charlie Rose’s departure from their respective shows amid allegations of sexual misconduct.
"I think it’s an incredible moment," Aniston said of the current women's empowerment movement. "Look, there are unsung voices, unsung talent that has yet to be discovered. Our eye is now on that prize. You have to make people think it’s not a choice anymore. This is actually the new normal, as it should be. And I think it’s going to get better and better."
With six female producers at the helm of The Morning Show, Aniston and her cohorts are making that “new normal” a reality. The Morning Show will premiere on Apple TV Plus on November 1st.