Rose McGowan has been temporarily blocked from posting publicly on Twitter. The actress, who has been one of the most outspoken voices in the chorus of women alleging sexual misconduct by Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, had recently accused Ben Affleck of lying about his knowledge of Weinstein’s behaviour.
McGowan posted a screenshot on Instagram early on Thursday (12 October), showing that her Twitter account had been suspended for 12 hours. During this time, she cannot tweet, retweet messages or like other people’s tweets.
The message from Twitter did not explain why McGowan’s account had been “limited”, or which of her tweets had violated the platform’s rules.
On Instagram, McGowan wrote that “there are powerful forces at work” and asked her followers to “be my voice”. She added the Twitter hashtag that has been adopted by her supporters in the wake of the Weinstein allegations: #ROSEARMY.
A post shared by Rose McGowan (@rosemcgowan) on
On Tuesday (10 October), McGowan had told Affleck to “f*** off” after he posted a statement on Twitter condemning Weinstein’s alleged history of sexual harassment and assault.
Affleck, who worked with Weinstein on several films, including Good Will Hunting, Reindeer Games and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, had written: “This is completely unacceptable, and I find myself asking what I can do to make sure this doesn’t happen to others.”
However, McGowan alleged that Affleck had been aware of how Weinstein treated women – and said she once had a conversation with him about it. “You lie,” she wrote.
Ben Affleck fuck off— rose mcgowan (@rosemcgowan) October 10, 2017
In the wake of the Weinstein allegations, Affleck has since apologised for groping presenter Hilarie Burton’s breasts while appearing on a TV show in 2003, something that was brought up by a Twitter user after his statement on Weinstein. Affleck has also been accused of inappropriately touching a make-up artist and other women at a Golden Globes party in 2014.
Many Twitter users have expressed their horror that McGowan had been suspended, particularly given that the social media platform has been repeatedly criticised for not doing enough to protect women and people of colour from misogynistic and racist abuse online.
Homophobia, transphobia and other forms of prejudice have also been flagged as major issues on Twitter.
One user pointed out that while McGowan’s account was suspended, Richard Spencer – an American white supremacist known for encouraging Trump supporters to give Nazi salutes – is still tweeting.
Rose McGowan's Twitter account has been suspended for inciting women to speak out against sexual harassment & rape. Anyway, lets hop on over to Richard Spencer's account & get the deets on the next Klan rally...— LTone (@LTone) October 12, 2017
People wonder why women don't report sexual assault? Rose McGowan spoke out about her experience and was LITERALLY FORCIBLY SILENCED.— OhNoSheTwitnt🏳️🌈 (@OhNoSheTwitnt) October 12, 2017
Twitter suspended Rose McGowan and just slapped every sexual assault survivor right in the face. Fuck the world.— Kelly Ellis (@justkelly_ok) October 12, 2017
McGowan has been one of the most prominent figures to speak out against Weinstein, who has now been publicly accused of sexual harassment and/or assault by some 20 women, including Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie, Cara Delevingne, Romola Garai, Léa Seydoux and Asia Argento. Many of the women disclosed these revelations to reporters from The New Yorker and the New York Times, prompting others to come forward.
According to the New York Times, McGowan reached a $100,000 settlement with Weinstein after an incident in a hotel room in 1997. McGowan – then 23 years old – had recently starred in the horror film Scream, which was produced by Dimension Films, a company headed by Weinstein’s brother Bob.
At the time, Weinstein’s legal team said that the settlement to McGowan was “not to be construed as an admission” by the film producer that he had done anything wrong, but was meant to “avoid litigation and buy peace”.
However, after the investigations were published in The New Yorker and The New York Times, McGowan posted several tweets about Weinstein. In one, she wrote: “The boogie monster of our waking nightmare has been toppled with our flaming sword.”
McGowan also shared a recording of Weinstein appearing to admit to groping actress Ambra Batillana Gutierrez, and called out several other prominent Hollywood men who she suggested had been involved in covering up Weinstein’s actions.
Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter on Sunday, McGowan said that the entire board of The Weinstein Company should resign.
“The men of Hollywood need to know they own no woman. The days of Entourage-like behaviour and thinking is as dated as your largely bro nature,” she said.
“I’m calling on the board to resign effective immediately. And for other men to stop other men when they are being disgusting.”
Image: Rex Features