Culture

John Oliver Is The First Late-Night Host To Slam Harvey Weinstein

"Your excuse isn't an excuse."

If you haven’t been following the Harvey Weinstein story, then I’m sorry to drag you into it, because it’s absolutely revolting. On Thursday, The New York Times published decades of sexual assault allegations against the influential Hollywood producer, in a story that has sent shockwaves through the entertainment industry.

Shortly after the story broke, Weinstein issued a bizarre statement in which he slammed the National Rifle Association and misquoted Jay-Z. He also attempted to defend himself by insisting that he “came of age in the ’60s and ’70s, when all the rules about behaviour and workplaces were different”, before conceding “I have since learned it’s not an excuse”.

If you think that response sounds kind of weak, then you’re certainly not alone. On Sunday night’s episode of Last Week Tonight, host John Oliver tore into Weinstein’s statement, describing it as “infuriating”.

“You’re right,” said Oliver. “Your excuse isn’t an excuse. In fact, it isn’t even as excuse for that behaviour in the ’60s.”

The comedian also latched onto an allegation that Weinstein — who has since been fired from his own company — once exposed himself to a female journalist in a restaurant before ejaculating into a potted plant.

“Step aside Chocolat,” joked Oliver. “You are no longer the most horrifying picture that Harvey Weinstein has ever produced”.

Oliver’s response is also noteworthy as he’s the only prominent voice on the US talk show circuit to devote any significant time on his program to the Weinstein scandal. Stephen Colbert and Saturday Night Live both failed to mention the story, while Trevor Noah of The Daily Show referenced it only in passing.

A number of talk show hosts have addressed the story on social media however — most notably Jimmy Kimmel, who got into a brief spat with Donald Trump Jr. on Twitter.