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Goldie Hawn gets real on cancel culture, how Harvey Weinstein 'undermined' her and Madonna

Goldie Hawn is giving her take on cancel culture and sharing memories from her decades-long Hollywood career.

The actress, 77, opened up in a profile in Variety on a range of topics, including the impact of cancel culture on comedy as well as her experience working with disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein.

She also gave her take on the current state of the Academy Awards, which returns this Sunday. Hawn won the Oscar for best supporting actress in 1970 for her work in "Cactus Flower" and said she regrets having to miss the ceremony because she was filming in London.

"It used to be elegant," she told Variety of the Oscars. "I’m not old-fashioned, but sometimes jokes are off-color. And I’m missing reverence. Things have become politicized. I want to see people in awe. I want to see people believing again. I want to see people laughing more in a way that isn’t just at someone else’s expense."

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Here's what else she said.

Academy Award-winning actress Goldie Hawn attends an event for her program "MindUp", which seeks to teach children about positive mental health.
Academy Award-winning actress Goldie Hawn attends an event for her program "MindUp", which seeks to teach children about positive mental health.

What does Goldie Hawn think of Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars?

"It’s indicative of our culture right now," Hawn said. "I mean, you could look at it and say, ‘What the hell just happened?’ Somebody lost control. They lost their self-regulation. Their bigger brain wasn’t thinking, and they did something that was horrendous and also showed no remorse. That, to me, is a microcosm oftentimes of our world. Chris was brilliant – totally held on to and controlled his emotions, was able to stand with dignity. That’s an example of what we would like our world to look like. But, unfortunately, it isn’t right now."

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Goldie Hawn reveals Harvey Weinstein 'basically undermined' her and Madonna

"He’s finally living his karma," Hawn said of Weinstein, who, last month, was sentenced to 16 years in prison in his Los Angeles criminal trial, adding on to the 23 years he is already serving as he continues to face repercussions from sexual assault allegations that kickstarted the #MeToo movement.

Hawn recalled how she and Madonna were "basically undermined" by Weinstein. Hawn and the pop star were set to star in the film version of the musical "Chicago" before it was overhauled into the 2002 Oscar-winning film starring Renée Zellweger.

Hawn said she confronted Weinstein when he commissioned a new script in which her character, Velma, was two decades younger than she was at the time.

"I said, ‘Don’t (expletive) with me. Because I know just what you’re doing. We made a deal,' " Hawn said.

Hawn added she was surprised that, in the end, Weinstein still paid her what she had negotiated for her work.

"You stand up to a bully, and sometimes you win. I said to him afterwards, 'You know what the best part of you paying me is? Not the money. You restored my faith in dignity and ethics.' Little did I know," she said.

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What does Goldie Hawn think of cancel culture?

"I think that it’s important to stand vigilant on people’s behavior and really understand when they’re out of line and be able to handle it," Hawn said of cancel culture. "But I’m concerned about these areas: Suddenly you don’t have a job. Suddenly you can’t date a woman within the business or you’re going to get fired. They’re canceling books – classic books that no one can read. I don’t like that. There’s mistrust everywhere. So not only is there cancel culture, but there are culture wars. Schools are being politicized. But for the greater good of our children? No one’s really looking at that."

She continued: "There’s a disruption now. Disruptions are good. But imbalance isn’t. I hope to get back to some level of sensibility and fairness. So ‘cancel culture.’ The word itself scares me more than anything. It’s rigid, concretized thinking, which is not good. It’s got double edges on it. And who has the right to cancel?"

It’s time to cancel ‘cancel culture.’ Call it ‘accountability culture’ instead.

Goldie Hawn on how cancel culture is impacting comedy

"The level of sensitivity is so high that comedians are afraid to tell certain jokes the way they used to," she said. "It’s a bit of a quandary for comedians; there are things you can’t say and so on and so forth. I mean, it’s fine."

Hawn continued: "There are certain areas that I agree with. But the level of sensitivity is unforgiving. That’s not a good feeling when you’re in a creative mode."

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Goldie Hawn talks Harvey Weinstein, Madonna and 2022 Oscars slap