In the final interview before his shocking suicide, Anthony Bourdain discussed the #MeToo movement and shared his thoughts on what punishment would befit accused serial rapist Harvey Weinstein.
Bourdain, who was found dead in his hotel room in France last month, gave an extended interview to reporter Maria Bustellos at the recently-launched digital magazine Popula. The interview was conducted in February and published this past weekend.
Bourdain and Bustellos covered all manner of topics — from travel to politics to drug use to his own romantic relationship – and spent a good deal of time discussing the #MeToo movement, which was sparked but an avalanche of sexual assault allegations against Harvey Weinstein this past fall.
Bourdain, who was in a relationship with one of Weinstein’s accusers, Asia Argento, was among the most vocal (male) supporters of the #MeToo movement. He routinely defended Argento and her friend, fellow Weinstein accuser Rose McGowan, and spoke candidly of his own blind spots in recognizing patterns of abuse in the restaurant industry.
In the interview, Bourdain first imagined Weinstein as a social outcast, punished for his alleged crime by being forced to live in Arizona.
However much people might want to see Harvey Weinstein dead or in jail, he’s in f***g Arizona. He is in Arizona, eating in restaurants in Arizona.
And at off the grid restaurants in Arizona, so he can’t even eat at the best sushi restaurant in Scottsdale. He’s gotta go to some s*** f*****g place. So Arizona, I mean, as much as I’d like to see him, you know beaten to death in his cell—
Bourdain then continued, imagining how Weinstein might die.
“….he’s brushing his teeth in a bathroom, he’s naked in his famous bathrobe, which is flapping open, he’s holding his cell phone in one hand because you never know who on the Weinstein board has betrayed him recently, and he’s brushing his teeth—he suddenly gets a massive f***g stroke—he stumbles backwards into the bathtub, where he finds himself um, with his robe open feet sticking out of the tub, and in his last moments of consciousness as he scrolls through his contacts list trying to figure out who he can call, who will actually answer the phone.
And he dies that way, knowing that no one will help him and that he is not looking his finest at time of death.”
In the interview, Bourdain gave no indication that he was struggling with any kind of mental health issues outside of perpetual despair at the state of American democracy, a sentiment shared by many. He said he was in love (with Argent0) and spoke enthusiastically of his work and travel.
He addressed another aspect of the Weinstein scandal: After Hillary Clinton made addressed the accusations in an interview with CNN, Bourdain criticized the former presidential candidate on Twitter, claiming that her statements (which came five days after news of the accusations broke) were disingenuous, suggesting that Clinton had long been aware of Weinstein’s predatory behavior.
“I immediately tweeted my disappointment, very much shaped by what I saw around me. And I will tell you, that was really f***g frightening, the reaction to that. You know, I voted for her,” Bourdain said in the Popula interview.
“I was really disappointed with the statement. But even by expressing that, the way that my comment was turned, very neatly—suddenly I wasn’t expressing disappointment in her statement; I was blaming her for Harvey Weinstein’s crimes.”
Bourdain also criticized Hillary’s husband Bill Clinton, who famously had an affair with a White House intern when he was president.
“A piece of s***. Entitled, rapey, gropey, grabby, disgusting, and the way that he—and she—destroyed these women and the way that everyone went along, and, and are blind to this! Screamingly apparent hypocrisy and venality. ”
[Feature image: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP]