Jez Butterworth and #metoo: Jerusalem context

Many thanks to Lucy Aitchison, a colleague teaching Jerusalem for the first time this year:

I said in an earlier post that Butterworth’s Jerusalem is a play creating its own context for the students.  When I wrote that, my focus at the time was on the historical child abuse cases which became so prolific in the 2010s.

Now students can also relate to #metoo and Butterworth has written an open letter to Harvey Weinstein which I link below:

The text is here:


My daughter is 11 years old, and all her life has dreamed of being a performer. She attends a local drama group, and loves to sing, dance and act.

Were she one day able to realise those dreams, and had Ashley Judd and others not been brave enough to come forward, there’s every chance in a few years time she would have been taken to a hotel, duped by your staff, ended up alone with you, and chased round the suite by you, naked, masturbating, threatening her, terrifying her, for your own enjoyment.

You have daughters of your own, Harvey. Unlike you, their lives are just beginning. As you begin therapy, I suggest you start by thinking of all those little 11-year-old girls, over decades, whose singular talents you have taken advantage of, whose dreams you have decisively and forever defined. Why it was you named a company after your parents, Miriam and Max, and swiftly embarked on a concerted campaign entirely to befoul their names. Why you then named your next company after their only other name, and did precisely the same.

And why it was you struck this insane bargain with yourself in the first place. And how it absolutely did not work. Because if Chocolat were Citizen Kane, Chicago were The Battle of Algiers and The King’s Speech were Casablanca, this is still what you will be remembered for.


Jez Butterworth

He discusses it here: In conversation