Former President Barack Obama has issued a statement reacting to reports that Harvey Weinstein has allegedly paid off sexual harassment accusers for decades.
The movie mogul and major Democratic donor was recently fired from the Weinstein Company, of which he was a co-founder, amid the investigation of the allegations against him.
"Michelle and I have been disgusted by the recent reports about Harvey Weinstein," Obama said in the statement. "Any man who demeans and degrades women in such fashion needs to be condemned and held accountable, regardless of wealth or status. We should celebrate the courage of women who have come forward to tell these painful stories. And we all need to build a culture -- including by empowering our girls and teaching our boys decency and respect -- so we can make such behavior less prevalent in the future."
Weinstein's company raised millions for the Democratic party over the years, including hosting several fundraisers that the Obama family attended while still in the Oval Office. Additionally, Malia Obama interned for the company months before the scandal first broke.
As previously reported by the New York Times, Weinstein allegedly paid off at least eight women who accused him of sexual harassment, which often included unwanted touching or promises that he would help further their careers.
The statement announcing his firing said the decision was made "in light of new information about misconduct by Harvey Weinstein that has emerged in the past few days."
Weinstein learned of his firing Sunday night (Oct. 8) via email. The investigation into the claims made against him remains ongoing at the time of this report.