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Brad Pitt says Harvey Weinstein scandal shook Hollywood as much as Manson family murders

Actor is promoting his new film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, which is set during the time when the Manson murders took place

Roisin O'Connor
Sunday 28 July 2019 11:22
Once Upon A Time In... Hollywood - Trailer

Brad Pitt has suggested that the scandal around Harvey Weinstein shook Hollywood as much as the Manson Family murders.

The actor stars opposite Leonardo DiCaprio in Quentin Tarantino’s new film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, which is set in 1969.

The Manson murders took place on 8-9 August that year, when four members of the Manson family invaded the rented home of director Roman Polanski and his wife, actor Sharon Tate, who was eight and a half months pregnant.

Polanski was working in Europe at the time, but Tate was at home with three friends, who were murdered along with an 18-year-old visitor who was leaving the house as the Manson group arrived.

“When my parents described it,” DiCaprio said in the interview with The Sunday Times, “it was as the end of this idealised revolution. My parents are still hippies, but it was the loss of this dream. As Quentin describes, you sort of portray this utopia, but there is a mildew around the canvas that brought the darkness of humanity into play and ended a lot of my parents’ hopes for how they could infuse that ‘love and peace’ ideology into the rest of the world.

“It all sort of crashed, and ended so much that some talk of it as a conspiracy. It was the total end of an era — immediately.”

When the pair was asked whether anything had rattled Hollywood to a similar extent, Pitt answered: “Harvey Weinstein.”

“Is that bad taste?” he continued then, when asked if his comparison was because of the perceived loss of innocence: “It’s more that I think we’re getting recalibrated. But [this time] in a good way.”

Weinstein was faced with multiple allegations of sexual misconduct, abuse and rape in October 2017 after a New York Times investigation published accounts by a number of high-profile women in Hollywood.

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The story sparked a wave of additional allegations, until more than 80 women had accused Weinstein of some form of harassment or sexual assault, including Kate Beckinsale, Cate Blanchett, Cara Delavingne, Rose McGowan, Uma Thurman and Mira Sorvino. Weinstein has denied all allegations of non-consensual sex.

The case sparked two movements, Time’s Up and #MeToo, which saw a wave of allegations against more high-profile men in the entertainment industry, and campaigning against sexual misconduct.

Two of Pitt’s former partners, Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie, also described encounters with Weinstein. When Paltrow told her then-fiancé Pitt, he reportedly confronted the producer at an industry event.

Weinstein is scheduled to go on trial in New York for charges of rape on 19 September.