Seth MacFarlane says Oscar joke about Weinstein was retaliation for harassment

Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane has said a joke he made about Harvey Weinstein at the 2013 Oscar nominations was a way for him to stand up to the producer after one of his friends said she had been harassed by him.

While announcing the Oscar nominees for best supporting actress alongside Emma Stone in January 2013, MacFarlane said: “Congratulations, you five ladies no longer have to pretend to be attracted to Harvey Weinstein.”

The comedian has now revealed the joke was a dig at the mogul after actress Jessica Barth, who co-starred in MacFarlane’s Ted movies and had a recurring role on Family Guy, confided in him that he had demanded a naked massage from her during a meeting at a hotel.

The details of her allegations were listed in a New Yorker piece by Ronan Farrow on Tuesday.

In a statement on Twitter, he wrote: “In 2011, my friend and colleague Jessica Barth, with whom I worked on the Ted films, confided in me regarding her encounter with Harvey Weinstein and his attempted advances.

“She has since courageously come forward to speak out.

“It was with this account in mind that, when I hosted the Oscars in 2013, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to take a hard swing in his direction.

“Make no mistake, this came from a place of loathing and anger.

“There is nothing more abhorrent and 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 retweeted his post and urged fans not to criticise MacFarlane for not taking further action.

She wrote: “To the people slamming Seth for not ‘doing’ anything, please STOP! He stood by me and respected my wishes that he not retaliate in any way.

“My friend Seth was respecting my wishes. Please be sensitive to that.

“To everyone bad mouthing Seth, how about applauding him for being one of FEW men in Hollywood speaking out!”


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