A resurfaced clip of Ellen Pompeo making questionable comments about convicted rapist and former film producer Harvey Weinstein as well as sexual assault survivors has social media up in arms as people accuse the Grey's Anatomy star of victim blaming. Wednesday, a portion of Pompeo's July 2018 Oxford Union Q&A found new life online, during which she said "it takes two to tango" when asked about Weinstein's fall from grace.
"I think we bear some responsibility, not all, but it takes two to tango for sure," she says in the clip. "That's not to blame the victim, that's just to say... I did go into a room with Harvey Weinstein, I sat at a table with him, I had a probably two and a half hour with him. He never said anything inappropriate to me, he never made any sort of physical advance to me."
what the fvck is wrong with ellen pompeo😭 this is absolutely DISGUSTING pic.twitter.com/rrjoKTSwjR— 𝐤𝐞𝐥𝐥𝐲 the BDAY GIRL! (@adoresbell) April 22, 2020
She added, "I wasn't in the room alone with him. I had been sent there by an agent in the middle of the daytime. I didn't think there was anything wrong. I wouldn't have gone into that room at night. But he did nothing inappropriate toward me. Now had he, I would have picked up that glass and smashed him across the side of the face with it. So I mean, it's all what we're willing to tolerate in our self-esteem, and what are we going to put up with, and what are we going to compromise to be liked, to be loved, to be accepted? How bad do we want to be in show business?"
Pompeo's answer came after the actress was asked about the importance of having courage to speak out and the role of the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements in Hollywood. She also responded in the full interview, "First, men need to understand that they will not get away with it. Number one. Or women need to understand. I don't mean to be sexist about it. Everybody is capable of harassment of any kind, right. So people need to understand that it won't be tolerated and then I think people need to be educated about it."
While Pompeo said it was important not to be "making excuses for these pigs," she also called out their "learned behaviors" from men in Hollywood who "got away with it." Pompeo added she thinks women need to be "responsible for the signals that we put out, for the messages that we put and the way we present ourselves."
She added, "I said in my article and I'm not ashamed to say it, as an actor, you certainly, certainly, go into the room with the idea that this director needs to fall in love with me to give me this part. And so, as women, we flirt.I think we're aware of our power... especially women... aware of our power of seduction very early on and we use it. It comes in good handy, right? ... But there has to be a balance in there. There has to be a line. But I do think we do bear some responsibility."
After the clip went viral upon its discovery Wednesday, people took to Twitter to call Pompeo out for her take on the situation.
ellen pompeo: “not to blame the victims”— rollinsss✨ (@fangirlinghard_) April 22, 2020
also ellen pompeo: *blames the victim. what the fuck is this https://t.co/aIJpkT9SyA
"ellen pompeo has clearly never been s*xually assaulted & this is a prime example of what it looks like to not have gone thru that," one Twitter user wrote. "she is victims blaming thru this entire video & is acting like it's the victims fault & as if the victim wanted it. 'it takes two to tango' ok."