Los Angeles - Charlize Theron isn't surprised about the sexual misconduct scandal surrounding Harvey Weinstein.
The 'Snow White and the Huntsman' actress has spoken out after the 65-year-old movie mogul was the subject of a damning New York Times expose - which claimed he had sexually harassed a number of women over a 30-year period and paid off at least eight to keep their allegations quiet - and subsequent similar allegations, insisting the "victims" should not be criticised for not speaking up before now because they had too much to lose to confront such a powerful figure.
She wrote on Instagram: "Although I didn't have a personal experience like this with Harvey Weinstein, I unfortunately cannot say I'm surprised.
"This culture has always existed, not just in Hollywood but across the world. And many men in positions of power have gotten away with it for far too long.
"We cannot blame the victims here. A lot of these women are young, just starting out in their respective fields, and have absolutely no way to stand up to a man with so much influence much greater than theirs. If they speak up, they are shut down and that could be the end of their career.
"This is all a positive step forward in changing that culture, and these young women need to know that they have a support system should anything like this happen to them. And I want you all to know I support you."
Meanwhile, Colin Firth has admitted he felt sick when he read about the allegations against the producer - who produced his Oscar-winning film 'The King's Speech' in 2011 - and praised the women who have spoken up.
He told The Guardian: "It's with a feeling of nausea that I read what was going on while I was benefiting from Harvey Weinstein's support. He was a powerful and frightening man to stand up to. It must have been terrifying for these women to step up and call him out. And horrifying to be subjected to that kind of harassment. I applaud their courage.
"By coming forward they've provided a jolting wake up throughout our industry. I hope it's going to be a help to others, both in our own industry and elsewhere."
In the wake of the scandal, Weinstein has been sacked from The Weinstein Company and his wife Georgina Chapman has left him, while he has also been slammed by other big names in Hollywood, including Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep, Kate Winslet, George Clooney, Angelina Jolie, and Dame Judi Dench.