“Stop funding rapists”: Rose McGowan attacks Jeff Bezos as Twitter struggles to explain why it suspended her account
After actress Rose McGowan called on Jeff Bezos to “stop funding rapists” in a Twitter thread, the Amazon boss has taken action.
In a series of tweets last night, McGowan said: “I told the head of your studio that HW raped me. Over & over I said it. He said it hadn’t been proven. I said I was the proof.
“I forcefully begged studio head to do the right thing. I was ignored. Deal was done. Amazon won a dirty Oscar,” McGowan continued. “I am calling on you to stop funding rapists, alleged pedos [sic] and sexual harassers…there is rot in Hollywood.”
HW is believed to refer to Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein and the “studio head” she is referring to is believed to be Roy Price, the head of Amazon Studios.
Following these accusations, as well as claims he sexually harrassed Isa Hackett, Amazon has issued a statement saying that it is putting Price on leave. Hackett is the producer of Amazon Studios’ The Man in the High Castle. “Roy Price is on leave of absence effective immediately,” Amazon responded when we asked for comment. “We are reviewing our options for the projects we have with The Weinstein Company.”
Elsewhere, Amazon said it was considering scrapping two projects it was working on with the Weinstein Company, which sacked one of its founders Weinstein earlier this week, namely The Romanoffs and an untitled drama starring Robert De Niro.
McGowan has been regularly tweeting in response to allegations made by a rising number of women claiming Weinstein raped or sexually assaulted them. Yesterday, Twitter suddenly suspended her account.
The speed with which Twitter responded to suspend McGowan was particularly unedifying for a company not know for its rapid response to abuse. At the time of her Twitter ban, McGowan was attacking Ben Affleck for his claims he had no idea what disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein was up to.
At the time, Twitter refused to comment on the reasons for McGowan’s suspension, hiding behind the all-time classic response of refusing to comment on individual cases for “privacy and security reasons.” But McGowan’s 800,000-plus Twitter followers had seen what led up to the ban, and they were obviously incensed. It smelled like yet another powerful body silencing a female voice seeking justice.
Many women are boycotting the social network in response, including Chrissy Teigen and Lauren Duca – both of whom have been victim to misogyny on the site – as a sign of solidarity towards the women coming forward with allegations.
The outrage that followed led Twitter to U-turn on its initial non-response. The company had taken action, it claimed, because McGowan had tweeted a private phone number – which violates the company’s terms of service.
Which is fine and logical, except Twitter has been known to break its own rules in less high profile cases, as this tweet from Natalie Shure illustrates.
Not to mention, as McGowan herself pointed out, that the president of the United States gets away with breaking the terms of service all the time. And for fairly obvious financial reasons.
Rules inconsistently applied are basically not rules, and Twitter has picked an odd point to come off the fence. The rapid U-turn on giving an explanation suggests that they’ve now come to terms with exactly how bad this looks – but it beggars belief that they didn’t see this coming. Silencing a woman calling out an establishment stitch-up looks like an establishment stitch-up.
Whatever Twitter’s motivations for banning Rose McGowan, it seems all they’ve achieved is amplifying her important words about the serious problems in Hollywood and beyond.
If you or a loved one has been affected by the issues raised in this story, you can get support and advice from Rape Crisis England and Wales or by calling the National Rape Crisis Helpline on 0808 802 9999. Rape Crisis Scotland’s number is 08088 01 03 02.