During the announcement of the 2013 Academy Award nominations, host Seth MacFarlane cracked a joke about Harvey Weinstein alluding to his behaviour around women. That comment has now resurfaced as women start to go public with accusations of sexual harassment, abuse and rape against Weinstein.

After announcing the nominees for Best Supporting Actress alongside Emma Stone, the Family Guy creator said: "Congratulations, you five ladies no longer have to pretend to be attracted to Harvey Weinstein."

MacFarlane has now explained why he made the joke, citing a story he heard from Ted co-star Jessica Barth about the film producer.

"In 2011, my friend and colleague Jessica Barth, with whom I worked on the Ted films, confided in me regarding her encounter with Harvey Weinstein and his attempted advances," he wrote in a statement on Twitter.

"She has since courageously come forward to speak out. It was with this account in mind that, when I hosted the Oscars in 2013, I couldn't resist the opportunity to take a hard swing in his direction.

"Make no mistake, this came from a place of loathing and anger."

Numerous people have come forward with stories of harassment and abuse by Weinstein and others in the industry, since a New York Times report last week cited allegations from actor Ashley Judd and former Weinstein Company employee Emily Nestor.

Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow and Cara Delevingne are among those who've shared their encounters with Weinstein.

Barth's experience was reported by The New Yorker and, like many others, involved meeting Weinstein in a hotel room. The meeting "alternat[ed] between offering to cast her in a film and demanding a naked massage in bed".

"He gave me her number, and I walked out and I started bawling," she told the publication.

"There is nothing more abhorrent and indefensible than abuse of power such as this. I respect and applaud my friend Jessica and those sharing their stories for their decision to come forward, and for being champions of the truth."

Weinstein has denied many of the allegations made against him, but also issued a statement implying some level of guilt.

In response to the initial New York Times report, he said: "I appreciate the way I've behaved with colleagues in the past has caused a lot of pain, and I sincerely apologise for it. Though I'm trying to do better, I know I have a long way to go. That is my commitment. My journey now will be to learn about myself and conquer my demons."

The producer is, according to another statement, seeking counselling.