The Harvey Weinstein sexual assault scandal has made a 2013 Seth MacFarlane joke viral all over again. The comedian was hosting the 85th Academy Awards and presenting the award for Best Supporting Actress alongside Emma Stone when he addressed the nominees and joked, “Congratulations, you five ladies no longer have to pretend to be attracted to Harvey Weinstein.” MacFarlane has issued an official statement in which he reveals the joke was written after his friend, actress Jessica Barth, told him about her own experience being harassed by Weinstein.
“Make no mistake, this came from a place of loathing and anger,” MacFarlane wrote, denying any speculation he was making light of the rumors surrounding Weinstein’s behavior. “There is nothing more abhorrent or indefensible than abuse of power such as this. I respect and applaud my friend Jessica and those sharing their stories for their decision to come forward, and for being champions of the truth.”
Barth starred as the supermarket employee and love interest Tami-Lynn McCafferty in “Ted” and its sequel and has also had a recurring role on “Family Guy.” After she told MacFarlane about her history with Weinstein, the comedian said he “couldn’t resist the opportunity to take a hard swing in his direction” by making a pointed joke on Oscar night.
Barth says Weinstein pressured her into giving him a naked massage at the Peninsula Hotel. Read MacFarlane’s official statement below.
— Seth MacFarlane (@SethMacFarlane) October 11, 2017