Leadership

Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg: ‘We can't tolerate Harvey Weinstein-like behavior’

Sheryl Sandberg speaks about overcoming grief and resilience at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco.
Sheryl Sandberg speaks about overcoming grief and resilience at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco.

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg denounced sexual harassment at the third annual Wall Street Journal Women in the Workplace dinner on Monday evening.

"We can't tolerate Harvey Weinstein-like behavior," she told the crowd, alluding to recent allegations of sexual misconduct by former employees against the film studio exec.

Last week, a New York Times investigation chronicled over two decades of sexual harassment claims against the producer along with his many settlements.

Days later, The New Yorker released a harrowing expose in which three of Weinstein's accusers shared personal accounts of sexual assault and harassment.

Harvey Weinstein
Getty Images
Harvey Weinstein

Italian actress-director Asia Argento is one of the three women who alleges that she was raped by the producer, saying he forcibly performed oral sex on her.

Since the report was published, other high-profile women, like Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow, have said that they were also harassed by Weinstein.

The Weinstein Company, which the Hollywood executive co-founded, fired him shortly after the allegations were publicized.

"It's not just about him. It's not just about the other men that do it," said Sandberg. "It's about all the people around them that know and don't do anything."

The Facebook COO called on colleagues to speak up when they witness or hear about sexual harassment and said that there need to be major ramifications for these types of misdeeds.

Sandberg has long been a champion for equal rights for women. The Facebook exec has frequently spoken out about the lack of progress for women in top roles.

In 2013, she published the book "Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead" and founded an organization by the same name in order to "shine a light on gender differences" and give advice to women looking to reach their goals.

Sandberg explained that situations like Weinstein's should never occur. "When it does happen and someone loses their job and is publicly embarrassed, I think that's great," she said. "Not because I want that to happen but because I think the only deterrent for other people is to see that there are disastrous consequences."

"There need to be those same consequences for the people that tolerate it around those people," she added. "And I think we are going to get there."

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