Harvey Weinstein sacked Weinstein Company over sexual harassment scandal

10:16 • 09.10.17



Harvey Weinstein has been fired from the Weinstein Company after new information emerged regarding his conduct, The Guardian reports, citing the company’s board of directors.


Weinstein was on a voluntarily leave of absence after a slew of sexual harassment allegations emerged last week in a New York Times exposé. The board on Friday endorsed that decision at the time but went further on Sunday, removing Weinstein from the company he co-founded.


The board’s statement read in full: “In light of new information about misconduct by Harvey Weinstein that has emerged in the past few days, the directors of the Weinstein Company – Robert Weinstein, Lance Maerov, Richard Koenigsberg and Tarak Ben Ammar – have determined, and have informed Harvey Weinstein, that his employment with the Weinstein Company is terminated, effective immediately,”


An attorney for Weinstein didn’t immediately comment.


Last week, it was alleged that Weinstein had reached at least eight settlements with women he had sexually harassed, and that he would invite women to his hotel room under the guise of work and then greet them naked or ask them to massage him or watch him shower.


Among Weinstein’s accusers are the actors Ashley Judd and Rose McGowan, with the latter allegedly reaching a $100,000 settlement over an incident of misconduct that happened when she was starring in Scream.


Weinstein’s allegedly inappropriate behaviour towards women he worked with and those who starred in his films has been referred to as an open secret in Hollywood.


President Donald Trump, whose presidential campaign was rocked a year ago by the release of a recording in which he boasted about groping women, has said he was not surprised by sexual harassment allegations against the media mogul. “I’ve known Harvey Weinstein for a long time. I’m not at all surprised to see it,” Trump told White House reporters on Saturday.


Dozens of Democrats have since moved quickly to sever ties with Weinstein, with many donating his past campaign contributions to women’s charities. Weinstein has given more than $1.4m in political contributions since 1992, virtually all to Democrats.


Weinstein has expressed regret for his inappropriate behaviour towards women stretching back decades, saying “I own my mistakes”, but his lawyers say he also denies many of the allegations made against him.


In a recent interview with Page Six, Weinstein said, “I am going to fix myself, I am going to fix how I deal with women and how I deal with my temper and power … I came of age in the 60s and 70s, when all the rules about behavior and workplaces were different.”


Attorney Lisa Bloom, who had been advising Weinstein, announced on Saturday she was resigning and did not comment further. The high-profile women’s rights attorney faced significant backlash for her decision to represent the movie producer. She had initially called him an “old dinosaur learning new ways”, adding, “I have been blunt with Harvey and he has listened to me.”


Charles Harder, another attorney representing Weinstein, released a statement after the Times investigation was published saying he planned to file suit against the paper, alleging that the story was “saturated with false and defamatory statements” and relied “on mostly hearsay accounts and a faulty report”. The Times has stood by its reporting.


In recent days, new allegations have emerged and a growing number of celebrities have spoken out in support of Weinstein’s accusers. New claims have come from a US television journalist, a British artist and writer and a woman who had worked at a restaurant at the company’s office.


The board’s statement on Sunday did not elaborate on the “new information about misconduct” that prompted the termination.

 

Entertainment journalists have also spoken about the ways in which the media might have enabled him over the years, declining to publish stories about the allegations due to Weinstein’s immense power.


A number of actors immediately expressed support for the alleged victims speaking up, including Patricia Arquette, Amber Tamblyn, Olivia Munn and Lena Dunham.


Pressure has since mounted on the board to take action. MSNBC host Mika Brzezinski tweeted that she would pull out of her three-book deal with Weinstein’s publishing company unless he resigned, adding, “Authors, actors, and moviemakers should not work for any Weinstein company until he resigns. Not a close call.”


Actors Mark Ruffalo and Seth Rogen also released statements over the weekend criticizing Weinstein and supporting his alleged victims.


Many other prominent industry figures, however, have not spoken up about the Weinstein story, and McGowan tweeted on Friday, “Ladies of Hollywood, your silence is deafening.”


 





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