Actor David Schwimmer arrives at the 74th Annual Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills, California, U.S., January 8, 2017. (Reuters)
David Schwimmer believes it's a "terrible" and "horrifying" mistake to lump together the actions of former Senator Al Franken and disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein.
Weinstein was accused of rape and sexual assault by more than 80 women and Franken was accused of harassment and unwanted sexual advances by a handful of women.
The "Friends" actor said in a new interview that in order to bring about change, we must stop lumping together the Weinsteins with the Frankens.
"What we need is to allow for context, and to recognize a spectrum of bad behavior," Schwimmer told Esquire. "At the moment, because of the current climate, Al Franken is being lumped in with the Harvey Weinsteins of the world. This is a terrible—and horrifying—mistake."
The 51-year-old added that while he is "not excusing any individual’s inappropriate or criminal behavior," he is simply pointing out the "critical" difference "between these two men and their actions."
"We should not conflate all claims into one column of bad behavior," the sitcom star argued. "What concerns me is the frequent disregard of facts, context, evidence, and the rule of law. In this current climate, condemnation is swift and merciless. That's another reason men are staying silent."
Schwimmer also said he believes "there is a ring of truth" to the term "witch hunt" being used to describe "the moment we're in."
"With social media, leveling a claim against someone is exponentially worse. It’s easier, faster, more pervasive, and much more difficult to dispute," the actor continued. "And if a person’s very livelihood relies on favorable publicity and perception, then a single story in this current climate—whether true or not—can totally destroy a career in the entertainment industry."