A right-wing artist claims to be the person behind the posters that popped up around Los Angeles this week featuring Meryl Streep next to Harvey Weinstein with the phrase “She Knew” written across the actress’s eyes.
A 49-year-old former US marine named Sabo said he and two collaborators are responsible for creating and putting up the posters, The Guardian reports. “She’s swiping at us so we’re swiping back,” he told the outlet, referring to Streep’s past comments opposing Trump.
Sabo was described by The Guardian as an “alt-right” version of Bansky, the anonymous graffiti artist and political activist.
Sabo admitted that he does not know for sure whether or not the 68-year-old Oscar winner knew about Weinstein’s alleged abuse spanning decades, but he said she probably realized given that “anyone in the film industry had a pretty good idea.”
“Maybe she was providing Weinstein with the fresh meat,” he said.
Streep has denied that she was aware of Weinstein’s alleged sexual misconduct over the years. “The disgraceful news about Harvey Weinstein has appalled those of us whose work he championed, and those whose good and worthy causes he supported,” said Streep in a statement shortly after the Weinstein news broke in October. “The intrepid women who raised their voices to expose this abuse are our heroes.”
The actress continued, “One thing can be clarified. Not everybody knew. Harvey supported the work fiercely, was exasperating but respectful with me in our working relationship, and with many others with whom he worked professionally.
“I didn’t know about these other offenses: I did not know about his financial settlements with actresses and colleagues; I did not know about his having meetings in his hotel room, his bathroom, or other inappropriate, coercive acts. And If everybody knew, I don’t believe that all the investigative reporters in the entertainment and the hard news media would have neglected for decades to write about it.”
McGowan, who claims Weinstein assaulted her, slammed Streep on Twitter for continuing to work with the disgraced producer for years despite his bad reputation.
“It hurt to be attacked by Rose McGowan in banner headlines this weekend, but I want to let her know I did not know about Weinstein’s crimes, not in the 90s when he attacked her, or through subsequent decades when he proceeded to attack others,” Streep said in a statement Monday.
In McGowan’s tweet, which has since been deleted, she wrote, “Actresses, like Meryl Streep, who happily worked for The Pig Monster, are wearing black @goldenglobes in a silent protest. YOUR SILENCE is THE problem. You’ll accept a fake award breathlessly & affect no real chance. I despise your hypocrisy. Maybe you should all wear Marchesa.” (McGowan has since apologized for suggesting the women wear Marchesa dresses, tweeting that the comment “was beneath” her.)
In her statement, Streep continued to deny she knew about Weinstein’s alleged crimes, writing, “I wasn’t deliberately silent. I didn’t know. I don’t tacitly approve of rape. I didn’t know. I don’t like young women being assaulted. I didn’t know this was happening.”
Over 60 women have accused Weinstein, 65, of sexual assault and misconduct since The New York Times and The New Yorker documented decades of alleged sexual misconduct and sexual assault involving a number of women in detailed articles in October. McGowan was one of the first women to come forward — accusing the producer of rape.
Streep was nominated for an Academy Award for her turn in 2013’s August: Osage County, which Weinstein executive produced. She won an Academy Award for 2012’s Weinstein Company release, The Iron Lady. At the 2012 Golden Globes, upon accepting the award for Best Actress (Drama) for her performance in The Iron Lady, Streep said: “I just want to thank my agent and God Harvey Weinstein.”
In a statement to PEOPLE, Weinstein’s attorneys have denied any allegations of sexual assault.
“Mr. Weinstein has never at any time committed an act of sexual assault, and it is wrong and irresponsible to conflate claims of impolitic behavior or consensual sexual contact later regretted, with an untrue claim of criminal conduct,” his lawyers said. “There is a wide canyon between mere allegation and truth, and we are confident that any sober calculation of the facts will prove no legal wrongdoing occurred.
“Nonetheless, to those offended by Mr. Weinstein’s behavior, he remains deeply apologetic.”