John Oliver was the first late night host to attack Harvey Weinstein over his sexual harassment allegations during his October 8 broadcast, and one week later the late night host again took some time during his broadcast to comment on the escalating scandal. Oliver’s Sunday night episode aired just a day after The Academy made its decision to expel Weinstein as one of its members, but Oliver wasn’t too happy about The Academy’s reasoning for doing so.
In an official statement, The Academy explained why it was removing Weinstein: “We do so not simply to separate ourselves from someone who does not merit the respect of his colleagues but also to send a message that the era of willful ignorance and shameful complicity in sexually predatory behavior and workplace harassment in our industry is over.”
While removing Weinstein was the right decision on The Academy’s part, Oliver found the group’s declaration completely hypocritical given that The Academy has been complicit in their own way by giving accused abusers like Roman Polanski, Mel Gibson, and Casey Affleck Oscar nominations and wins.
“Yes, finally the group that counts among its current members, Roman Polanski, Bill Cosby, and Mel Gibson had found the one guy who treated women badly and kicked him out,” Oliver said. “So, congratulations, Hollywood. See you at the next Oscars where – and this is true – Casey Affleck will be presenting Best Actress.”
Oliver continued by saying that equally troubling to Weinstein’s actions was the how the people around him accused those actions. “What the f—? So everyone knew and they just went with it?” Oliver asked. “Oh yeah, Harvey’s going to burst into your room and masturbate. ‘That’s just Harvey. He’s like a sex-criminal version of the Kool-Aid Man.'”
You can hear John Oliver’s comments on Weinstein and watch “Last Week Tonight” in full on HBO NOW, HBO Go, or linear HBO channels.