Kathie Lee Gifford is tone deaf to the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements. The “Today” talk show host defended Harvey Weinstein and disgraced comedian Bill Cosby on Andy Cohen’s radio show “Radio Andy.”
Gifford revealed that she reached out to both when their scandals broke last year.
She told Cohen:
“I just want people to know I don’t judge them. I don’t like what they do, but God knows their hearts and there’s hope for them. You can’t call yourself a friend if the first minute there’s trouble, you run. That’s called a fair-weather friend and that’s not a friend at all. I don’t want to throw everybody on the same manure pile. Being a jerk is not the same as being a rapist. It just isn’t. I’ve been friends with Bill for a long, long time … Harvey Weinstein was a friend of mine for 30 years. I called him and left a message.”
As if being her friends should make a difference. Talk about celebrity entitlement.
Weinstein, 65, was outed last year by dozens of women who said he sexually harassed or sexually assaulted them over the course of his career and threatened to destroy anyone who complained.
The Hollywood mogul, who had the power to make or break careers in Hollywood, was finally outed last November in a New York Times expose.
He has denied all charges, even though he voluntarily entered rehab and was stripped of post as head of the Weinstein Co.
Cosby, 72, is facing a retrial on criminal charges that he drugged and sexually assaulted a woman in 2005 who worked at his alma mater Temple University. She was one of dozens of women, who said Cosby drugged and assaulted them over the course of his career.
Oddly, Gifford, 64, says she is a victim of sexual harassment as well.
“I hope people are not misunderstanding this. I’m not saying that that kind of behaviour is in any way acceptable. It isn’t, and it’s horrible, and as a woman who has experienced it, it’s awful. But can we at least look at each individual case and see it for what it is? And be merciful to people who are sorry for what they’ve done? If we stop having mercy as a part of our vocabulary, Andy, our world will completely die.”
Gifford says she hopes people can be “merciful” toward those who are “sorry” for their alleged behavior.
Unfortunately, both Weinstein and Cosby are in a state of deep denial. Their apologies or expressions of remorse wouldn’t begin to address the wrongs they’ve allegedly perpetrated against women.
To make matters worse, they used their positions of power to coerce and browbeat victims into sex acts and threatened them with ruin if they complained.
And that’s indefensible.