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Steven Spielberg admits 'inappropriate behaviour' in his own company

The 71-year-old award-winning filmmaker has helmed more than 60 movies during his career - including blockbusters such as 'Jaws' and the 'Indiana Jones' franchise.

Director Steven Spielberg. Picture: AFP

LOS ANGELES - Multi-award winning Hollywood filmmaker Steven Spielberg has admitted he had a case of "inappropriate behaviour" in his own company.

The 71-year-old award-winning filmmaker has helmed more than 60 movies during his career - including blockbusters such as Jaws and the Indiana Jones franchise.

Spielberg told The Guardian newspaper: "There was some inappropriate behaviour years and years ago inside my own company, which we dealt with and dismissed the person involved in that.

"But I've always had small companies with no more than 70 employees, and my companies have always been run by women.

"I find when companies are run by women, there's less of a chance for men to get away with that kind of behaviour."

Spielberg also admitted that he knew the disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein was a "bully".

However, the acclaimed director only learned about the sexual misconduct allegations facing Weinstein after the story broke.

He said: "I knew that he was a bully, and I knew that he was a very intimidating competitor. But I learned for the first time about sexual proclivities when I read the story by Ronan Farrow.

"I didn't know because the sexual assault tsunami hadn't happened yet. Of course, it had been happening for decades and decades, but this particular 8.2 earthquake had not yet occurred.

"[I was] certainly aware of the existence probably all the way back to William Shakespeare's time of the casting couch, and the prevalence of sexual abuse and sexual intimidation in the Hollywood of the 1920s, 30s and 40s."

Meanwhile, Spielberg recently backed Oprah Winfrey to become America's next president.

Oprah delivered a rallying speech about sexual harassment during this year's Golden Globes, and Spielberg subsequently suggested she should run for political office.

He said: "I think Oprah Winfrey would make an absolutely brilliant president. If she declares, I will back her.

"She's been on the air for 35 years with all kinds of social outreach, building bridges between different ideologies and different points of view."

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