Tarana Burke, the founder of the groundbreaking "Me Too" movement, has issued a statement following Harvey Weinstein's guilty verdict on Monday.
"Today, a jury confirmed what we all know: Harvey Weinstein committed sexual assault. This wouldn't have been possible without the voices of the silence breakers in and outside of the courtroom, the survivors who courageously testified, and the jurors who, despite an unrelenting and unethical defense strategy, voted to find an unremorseful Harvey Weinstein guilty," her statement begins.
Burke continues, "This jury worked with an incredibly narrow and unjust set of laws governing sexual assault, and though he was not convicted on all counts, Harvey Weinstein will have to answer for his crimes," adding that "Harvey Weinstein operated with impunity and without remorse for decades in Hollywood. Yet, it still took years, and millions of voices raised, for one man to be held accountable by the justice system."
Weinstein was convicted of committing a criminal sex act in the first degree involving one woman and rape in the third degree involving another. He was acquitted of the more serious charges of predatory sexual assault involving the two women and one count of first-degree rape - which each carry a potential life sentence.
"How many careers were derailed? How many entry-level assistants were fired or silenced? How many jobs were lost? How many news stories, that could have exposed Harvey sooner, were censored? How many people could have spoken up, but didn't? All in the name of protecting a violent sexual predator," Burke writes.
"This case reminds us that sexual violence thrives on unchecked power and privilege. The implications reverberate far beyond Hollywood and into the daily lives of all of us in the rest of the world."