CLAIM

Director Michael Moore was accused of sexual harassment by a 16-year-old film extra.

RATING

ORIGIN

Numerous allegations of sexual harassment have been made against former film executive Harvey Weinstein recently, which may be why “satirical” web site Freedom Junkshun was inspired to publish a story on 17 October 2017 that painted documentarian Michael Moore in a similar light.

According to the site:

Fox News reported Monday:

While filming anti-gun movie Bowling for Columbine Sarah Slater, who was 16 at the time and on set as an extra, says Moore walked up to her and made “multiple passes.”

“I rejected him every time but he wouldn’t take no for an answer,” Slater tells Fox. “He had me change into this really short skirt and he would just stare. At the end of the day, I was at a vending machine and felt a hand sliding up my thigh.”

In reality, Fox News reported no such thing. Freedom Junkshun is a long-standing publisher of false information. The site includes this disclaimer:

We believe that there is nothing more precious than the mind of an aging conservative. Here we gather a boatload of bullhonkey, works of pure satirical fiction, to give the fist-shakers of the world a reason to hate. Reality is often in the eye of the beholder. You won’t find any of it here.

Join the fun in the comments on our Facebook page where you too can watch David Hasselhoff running over someone’s poodle magically transformed into a crime against humanity by Barack Obama or yet another murder the Clintons got away with.

However, that did not stop conservative social media users from trying to pass the story off as legitimate:

As is commonplace, other websites—Conservative Columns, The Star Chronicle, USA First Information, and Defense Patriot—regurgitated the fake story without including a “satirical” disclaimer of their own.

In reality, Moore criticized Weinstein in a Facebook post on 13 October 2017, saying:

I have intervened on more than one occasion and I have fired men who sexually harass women. Harvey Weinstein knew better than to behave inappropriately toward women in my presence. I’m guessing successful sociopaths like him who get away with it for years are very, very careful not to let the kind of men who would stop them dead cold ever get a glimpse of who they really are. I don’t live in Weinstein’s Hollywood world and I make documentaries, so I can’t speak to the culture he created and seemed to thrive in. I AM the only director that I know of who’s actually taken Weinstein to court (for being a thief, which requires a different set of sociopathic skills, but, like sexual harassment, you can probably find them at a few Hollywood studios).

All of us (men) must share the responsibility for allowing a society to exist where women do not feel safe. A society where, when they are abused, they are not able to tell their stories without fear of retribution and shame. A society that badgers, blames or scoffs at women when they tell their stories. Or how they tell their stories. Or “how long” it took them. They carry a burden that most of us (men) never have to experience. If you can’t empathize with that or understand what they are dealing with, then maybe you’re part of the problem.

We contacted Moore seeking comment on Freedom Junkshun’s “story.”

Weinstein, the former co-founder of Miramax and the Weinstein Company, has been accused by more than 60 women of sexually harassment or assault in the wake of reports by both the New York Times and the New Yorker this month, detailing a pattern of alleged abuse.

He was subsequently fired from the Weinstein Company as well as expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Police in London and Los Angeles have opened investigations regarding Weinstein, while New York State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman is reviewing whether Weinstein committed civil rights violations.

Kantor, Jodi and Megan Twohey.   “Harvey Weinstein Paid Off Sexual Harassment Accusers for Decades.”
    The New York Times.   5 October 2017.

Farrow, Ronan.   “From Aggressive Overtures to Sexual Assault: Harvey Weinstein’s Accusers Tell Their Stories.”
    The New Yorker.   10 October 2017.

Lartey, Jamiles and Kevin Rawlinson.   “Harvey Weinstein: Police in New York and London Investigating Allegations.”
    The Guardian.   12 October 2017.

Winton, Richard and Victoria Kim.   “Investigation Launched After Actress Tells LAPD She Was Raped by Harvey Weinstein.”
    Los Angeles Times.   19 October 2017.

Twohey, Megan.   “Weinstein Company Faces Civil Rights Inquiry by New York Attorney General.”
    The New York Times.   23 October 2017.

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