Tom Hanks has urged men to ''pipe down'' and allow women ''to be heard'' in the wake of the sexual harassment allegations against Harvey Weinstein.

The 61-year-old movie star has condemned the alleged actions of the disgraced producer - who stands accused of sexually harassing over 40 women in the space of 30 years - and thinks all women should have the ability to come forward and speak about their experience with such situations, without the fear of being judged.

He said: ''We're at a watershed moment, this is a sea change. His last name will become a noun and a verb. It will become an identifying moniker for a state of being for which there was a before and an after.

''There is going to be, righteously, a pause in the discussion for the women to be heard. Perhaps all men, myself included, should pipe down and not try to explain it or comment on it or certainly not try to defend it or even prosecute it because every one of those women, those 40 women I was in the room with, 100% of them need to be listened to.''

And whilst Tom has spoken against the alleged behaviour of the 65-year-old producer, he doesn't believe the scandal is only prevalent in Hollywood, and thinks women from all walks of life should be able to speak freely about sexual harassment.

Speaking to the BBC, he added: ''Everybody has stories about some aspect of the 'casting couch'. It would be too simplistic to say this only happens in Hollywood. I watch 'Mad Men', you could probably say the same about the advertising agency. Look at the halls of government, how many sex scandals do you have there?''

Since news of the scandal broke, Harvey - who has denied many of the allegations made against him - has been sacked from his position as co-chairman of the The Weinstein Company, and his wife of ten years, fashion designer Georgina Chapman, has left him.