Seth Macfarlane's joke about Harvey Weinstein at the 2013 Oscars related to the sexual harassment allegations that now surround the movie producer.

The 43-year-old actor made what appeared to be a throwaway quip as he named the nominated supporting actresses at the Academy Awards that year, but Seth has now revealed that his remarks were more considered than they may have first appeared.

As he made the introductions, the host said: ''Congratulations, you five ladies no longer have to pretend to be attracted to Harvey Weinstein.''

In a series of tweets, Seth has explained that the comments were prompted by a conversation between himself and actress Jessica Barth, who told him about her 2011 encounter with Weinstein in a hotel room.

Seth explained on the micro-blogging site: ''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.

''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.''

Seth - who has joined the likes of Meryl Streep, Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow in criticising Weinstein - praised the actress for having the courage to come forward.

He wrote: ''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, 65, has denied many of the allegations made against him over the last week.

But since sexual assault claims were first reported in the New York Times newspaper, the producer has been fired by The Weinstein Company and his wife of ten years, fashion designer Georgina Chapman, has announced she is to leave him.