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Arianna Huffington: Why the Weinstein scandal is a ‘catalyst for dramatic changes’

  • "Whatever needs to come out into the light, will come out into the light," the founder and CEO of Thrive Global told CNBC
  • In early October, The New York Times published an investigation uncovering sexual harassment allegations against Harvey Weinstein

The recent flood of sexual harassment allegations made against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein has marked a "catalyst" for dramatic changes, media mogul Arianna Huffington has told CNBC.

"Now, whatever needs to come out into the light, will come out into the light," the founder and CEO of Thrive Global told CNBC on Thursday, when asked about the recent developments surrounding the Weinstein scandal.

Speaking at the Future Investment Initiative, a summit held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Huffington said that living in an increasingly digital world has made it more difficult for individuals and companies to hide.

"Obviously, a lot is coming into the light, as right now, we're living through this period where — especially because of social media — it's very hard for companies and CEOs to hide behind amazing advertising and a public relations team."

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In early October, The New York Times published an investigation uncovering sexual harassment allegations against Weinstein, a co-founder of both Miramax and The Weinstein Company.

In the initial report, two company officials told the Times that Weinstein had reached at least eight settlements with women over alleged harassment.

Subsequent reports from dozens of women accusing Weinstein of sexual harassment and/or assault have since emerged via media outlets worldwide, and the producer was fired by the board of his namesake company. Weinstein has repeatedly denied accusations of non-consensual sex.

The scandal has prompted women working both in the movie industry and elsewhere to share their own experiences of sexual harassment and assault.

Actresses Ashley Judd, Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie, Lena Headey and Cara Delevingne are just a handful of the women who've spoken out about the uncomfortable experiences with Weinstein that they've allegedly had.

When asked by CNBC whether allegations of sexual harassment are solely confined to Hollywood or go further, Huffington said that it's being seen "across the board" and that now there is "no tolerance" for this type of behavior.

"This has been very much across the board. It's just that, for decades it was kept in the shadows, and now that's changing, which is becoming a catalyst for dramatic changes."

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