They may have only been in the house for one day but some Celebrity Big Brother housemates are already ruffling feathers, with Ann Widdecombe, Amanda Barrie, and Rachel Johnson coming under fire after ‘victim-shaming’ Harvey Weinstein’s accusers.
Ann insisted that the women “had a choice” when they were allegedly sexually assaulted by the movie mogul, with the younger housemates, including Jess Impiazzi and Malika Haqq, being praised for speaking out against their fellow housemates.
It all started when India Willoughby asked veteran actress Amanda whether she had ever experienced the “casting couch thing” after the housemates had a discussion about the Weinstein scandal.
Amanda said: “When it comes to Weinstein, I think somebody should’ve just said, ‘It’s not really worth it darling, I’d rather not get the part.'”
Ann added: “Yes, I tend to agree there was a choice there.”
India further questioned: “Has a director ever implied he wouldn’t give you a part unless you succumbed to his charms?”
The former Coronation Street star replied: “It was always being indicated that, but I think if you’re stupid enough to get with somebody because you want the part, don’t get it.”
Boris Johnson’s sister, Rachel, retorted: “Many women were stupid enough to do this and became big stars”, with Ann once again insisting: “It’s down to them, they had a choice.”
However, glamour model Jess soon hit back, explaining: “I’d freak, I’d be awfully terrified.
“Say you’re quite a shy person and this man comes at you, you’d think what the hell?”
Ann retorted: “You say no!”
Jess continued: “But you’d be terrified, he shouldn’t even be there in the first place, you’d be so scared, if a big man came at me like that I’d be terrified.”
Malika agreed, reasoning that the way Weinstein allegedly approached his victims wasn’t necessarily in an aggressive or obvious way.
She explained: “It comes in a way like you’re walking out to your car, he says, ‘Hey by the way, great audition, you should come by mine later and go over lines so you can actually get that callback.
“It’s not always the big bad cop and sometimes that’s how people end up subjecting themselves in situations and scenarios where you don’t see it coming and all of a sudden you end up doing something you really truly wouldn’t want to be doing but you’re doing it now and you realise I have a choice in that very moment.
“You’ve already put yourself in that position where you’re in someone’s home or someone’s private office and it’s not always that obvious.”
Malika and Jess were praised by viewers for “speaking sense”, with the older housemates receiving criticism from fans, with some even calling for them to be removed for the comments:
It’s amazing how uneducated people are about sexual assault, with Ann Widecombe, an MP who has political influence, claiming that Weinstein victims should ‘just say no’. Victim blaming at its finest #CelebrityBigBrother #CBB #CBBUK
— Charlotte Baker (@Charlanne97) January 3, 2018
Amanda and Ann’s comments on Harvey Weinstein’s VICTIMS were an absolute disgrace! He is accused of sexually assaulting & raping women. Ann said they had a choice?! She should be ejected from the house immediately, given Biggin’s was put out for less #cbb #Victimshaming #metoo
— M (@MaliHart1) January 3, 2018
Thank goodness that the younger housemates are providing a voice of reason in this discussion. #cbb Love what Jess and Malika said re Weinstein
— Hannah Tapsell (@hannahtapsell) January 3, 2018
— Emily Dixon (@timshel82) January 3, 2018
I literally can’t believe Anne has just said the victims of #Weinstein “had a choice” ie sleep with him or give up on their career and it was therefore “down to them” and did she just call them stupid? Can she be kicked out please? Wrong on every level. #cbb #CelebrityBigBrother
— Louisa Gregson (@LouisaGregson) January 3, 2018
Are these women seriously suggesting that the Harvey Weinstein victims could have just said no? #cbb
— Elle Cartwright (@elle_cartwright) January 3, 2018
Did not think that Jess from ex on the beach would be talking more common sense about Weinstein’s sexual assaults than Ann Widdecombe… welcome to 2018 #cbb
— EP (@eparchx) January 3, 2018
In recent months, more than 50 high-profile supermodels and actresses have come forward to accuse Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault and rape, with the likes of Angelina Jolie, Rose McGowan and Cara Delevingne all sharing harrowing stories.
Weinstein, 65, has insisted that all sexual conduct has been consensual, with his spokeswoman Sallie Hofmeister saying: “Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr Weinstein.”
Celebrity Big Brother continues tonight at 9pm on Channel 5.