Seth MacFarlane has opened up about his now-infamous joke about Harvey Weinstein at the Oscar nomination ceremony in 2013, revealing the dark truth behind it.

Questions had been raised this week regarding just how much the Family Guy creator knew about the movie mogul's alleged history of sexual harassment, considering he joked at the event that the best supporting actress nominees would "no longer have to pretend to be attracted to Harvey Weinstein".

That joke has gone viral over the past few days as more and more details of Weinstein's shocking decades-old "open secret" were exposed.

In an emotional Twitter post, MacFarlane revealed that his gag was a way of standing up to the studio boss, who had allegedly sexually harassed his friend and co-star Jessica Barth.

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MacFarlane claims that Barth, who co-starred in his Ted movies and had a role on Family Guy, had told him about her horrifying experience with Weinstein in 2011 - a story she has since gone public with.

"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 [Weinstein's] direction," he tweeted.

"Make no mistake, this came from a place of loathing and anger. There is nothing more abhorrent and indefensible than abuse of power such as this."

Overnight, Weinstein broke his silence on the damning allegations which have continued to surface over the past five days, admitting that he "encouraged" his wife of 10 years to leave him.

"​I support her decision, I am in counselling and perhaps, when I am better, we can rebuild," Weinstein said.

"Over the last week, there has been a lot of pain for my family that I take responsibility for. I sat down with my wife Georgina, who I love more than anything, and we discussed what was best for our family.

Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein. Photo / AP
Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein. Photo / AP

"We discussed the possibility of a separation and I encouraged her to do what was in her heart.

"I understand, I love her and I love our children and hopefully, when I am better, I will be in their lives again."

Georgina Chapman, 41, announced their separation yesterday, saying: "My heart breaks for all the women who have suffered tremendous pain because of these unforgivable actions.

"I have chosen to leave my husband. Caring for my young children is my first priority and I ask the media for privacy at this time."

It came hours after actresses Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow claimed ­Weinstein targeted them early in their careers and he faced bombshell claims he raped three women, including Italian actress Asia Argento.