Rose McGowan tears up amid strong support at Women's Convention

"I have been silenced for 20 years," the actress said.

October 27, 2017, 5:08 PM

— -- Today, Rose McGowan stepped out of the shadows and away from the virtual public forum of Twitter to speak at the Women's Convention in Detroit.

The actress Rose McGowan made her first public remarks since she became one of the dozens of women accusing now-disgraced movie producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual misconduct.

"I have been silenced for 20 years," McGowan said. "I have been slut-shamed. I have been harassed."

McGowan delivered the opening speech on Friday morning at the event that included forums and discussions arranged by organizers of the Women's March using what they call "nonviolent resistance ... committed to dismantling systems of oppression."

"What happened to me behind the scenes happens to all of us in this society," McGowan said. "That cannot stand and will not stand ... We are free. We are strong. We are one massive collective voice."

The actress, well known for her starring role in the series "Charmed," was among the women cited in an initial New York Times report earlier this month as having settled harassment claims against Weinstein. McGowan didn't comment for the article.

PHOTO: Actress Rose McGowan speaks during the Women's Convention at Cobo Center in Detroit, Mich., Oct. 27, 2017.
Actress Rose McGowan speaks during the Women's Convention at Cobo Center in Detroit, Mich., Oct. 27, 2017.
Aaron Thornton/Getty Images

Since that time, McGowan has used Twitter to support other accusers and to seemingly accuse Weinstein of raping her.

"I told the head of your studio that HW raped me," she wrote on Twitter a couple weeks back. She later confirmed she was referring to Weinstein in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter the next day.

PHOTO: Harvey Weinstein attends the Academy Awards, March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California.
Harvey Weinstein attends the Academy Awards, March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California.
Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images, FILE

McGowan did not name Weinstein in her talk today but may have been alluding to him in her reference to "the monster" who is dominating headlines and in comparing herself to a small-town girl assaulted by a local football star, only to see the crime covered up.

She also didn't name President Donald Trump by name but appeared to allude to comments he made about women in an exchange with a television host in 2005. "Grab them by the p----," Trump is heard saying in the recording that became public during the 2016 presidential campaign. Then-candidate Trump issued a statement describing the exchange as "locker room banter" and apologizing "if anyone was offended."

McGowan told the crowd at the Women's Convention today, "I came to be a voice for all who have been told we are nothing."

"For all of us who’ve been looked down on, for all of us who have been grabbed by the mother f------ p----. No more," she said. The actress also spoke to the roaring audience about "monsters," saying it's time for women to speak out.

"No more will we be shunted to the side, no more will we be hurt," McGowan said. "It’s time to be brave in the face of unspeakable actions."

She referred directly to Hollywood, calling it a male-dominated environment, "It’s time to clean house."

Through representatives, Weinstein has repeatedly denied allegations of rape, with a spokesperson for Weinstein saying again Tuesday in a statement to ABC News, "Any allegations of nonconsensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein."

The board of the Weinstein Co. terminated the producer, and he later tendered his resignation from the board. He was also expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and the Producers Guild of America has voted to begin proceedings to oust him. A final determination in that case will be made next month.

McGowan later spoke at an afternoon panel called "Fighting for survivors of sexual assault in the age of Betsy DeVos."

She noticeably teared up at the start while she was being introduced and when she talked about her social media movement of followers called "Rose Army." She said her supporters online are a "virtual flash mob" who call out injustices.

McGowan later spoke about how assault is depicted in films, saying that men from a young age learn by watching movies that a "real man" is macho and a fighter, like Rocky Balboa.

She also mentioned "Game of Thrones" in connection with concerns about female characters being abused on screen and referred to Seth MacFarlane's controversial joke at the 2013 Oscars about "we saw your boobs," all as signs of the problems for women in society.

"We have no rights, there is no such thing as sexual harassment laws" in Hollywood, McGowan said.

The actress said she has been doing advocacy on this issue for years and plans to continue it on and off the internet.

"Monsters have been after me for years and years trying to do everything possible to eradicate me from this Earth and I will not go," she said to a standing ovation.

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