Howards End Star Addresses Harvey Weinstein Rumours & Gets Real About Sexism

Photo: Vera Anderson / Getty Images.
Last month it was widely reported that Harvey Weinstein had body-shamed Hayley Atwell, the actress now starring in the BBC's very relevant Howards End miniseries, when she was working on the 2008 film Brideshead Revisited.
The disgraced mogul allegedly said the British actress looked like a "fat pig on screen" before being called out by Atwell's co-star in the movie, Emma Thompson.
According to the story, Thompson even threatened to quit the film if she heard Weinstein body-shaming Atwell or another female cast member again.
However, Atwell has now refuted these rumours, telling The Times that neither Weinstein nor anyone else at Miramax, the production company he was running at the time, ever spoke to her in this way.
Advertisement
She also explained that reading the story had dismayed her because it had placed focus on her weight and the misplaced notion of an 'ideal' female body.
"I woke up the next day going, 'How boring that now my weight is the topic of conversation.' And that is a form of sexism," Atwell told the newspaper. "When we talk about women and their body image, it is a form of control. It is a form of shaming a woman. Because the visual arts are so geared towards trying to have this sense of perfect self, women will crumble when they’re brought down on their body weight."
"You don’t talk to a woman about their body weight or their age. It’s rude," Atwell added. "But I’m not one of his victims. And I so lucky that I wasn't."
As Atwell points out, she is among the lucky ones. More than 70 women have now come forward to accuse Weinstein of sexual assault, including Hollyoaks actress Lysette Anthony.
"And I share in their grief and I will support them," Atwell told The Times.
Advertisement