One of Hollywood’s most powerful movie producers, Harvey Weinstein, has been fired by the board of the company he founded after a news report recounted his decades-long sexual harassment of women in the film industry.
The 65-year-old Weinstein oversaw production of some of the most critically acclaimed and financially successful films over the last 30 years, including “Shakespeare in Love,” “Pulp Fiction,” “Sex, Lies and Videotape,” “The English Patient,” “Good Will Hunting” and “Lee Daniels’ The Butler.” He ran the Miramax and later the Weinstein movie companies with his brother Bob Weinstein.
But the movie mogul’s fall came quickly after The New York Times reported last week that Weinstein, a man known in Hollywood for his demanding control of film productions and angry outbursts, had made unwanted sexual advances on women stretching over nearly three decades. The story said Weinstein had paid confidential settlements to at least eight women who had accused him of sexual harassment.
In a statement last week, Weinstein said that “the way I’ve behaved with colleagues in the past has caused a lot of pain, and I sincerely apologize for it.” Later, he claimed some of the newspaper’s claims were false and said he would sue for defamation.
Weinstein took a leave of absence from his company on Friday, but on Sunday the board said that “in light of new information about misconduct by Harvey Weinstein that has emerged in the past few days,” it had told him that “his employment is terminated, effective immediately.”
Weinstein has been big donor in recent years to Democratic politicians in the U.S. and liberal causes. But with the sexual harassment revelations, Democratic political figures moved quickly over the weekend to transfer the same amount of Weinstein’s donations to charitable causes.
In a related development, President Trump has weighed in on the escalating controversy that is swirling around Weinstein and the latest charges leveled against. Speaking to a media gaggle over the weekend on the White House grounds, Trump said that he had known Weinstein for years and was “not surprised” by the charges.
The Hollywood Reporter also quoted iconic Hollywood actress Meryl Streep when she referred to the women who had exposed Weinstein as a sexual abuser as “heroes.”
“The disgraceful news about Harvey Weinstein has appalled those of us whose work he championed, and those whose good and worthy causes he supported. The intrepid women who raised their voices to expose this abuse are our heroes,” Streep said.
“One thing can be clarified. Not everybody knew,” she continued. “Harvey supported the work fiercely, was exasperating but respectful with me in our working relationship, and with many others with whom he worked professionally. I didn’t know about these other offenses: I did not know about his financial settlements with actresses and colleagues; I did not know about his having meetings in his hotel room, his bathroom, or other inappropriate, coercive acts. And If everybody knew, I don’t believe that all the investigative reporters in the entertainment and the hard news media would have neglected for decades to write about it, she told the Hollywood Reporter. “The behavior is inexcusable, but the abuse of power familiar,” Streep concluded. “Each brave voice that is raised, heard and credited by our watchdog media will ultimately change the game.”
On Sunday night, Rose McGowan spoke to the Hollywood Reporter about the entire “bro nature” of Hollywood, only hours after it was announced that Harvey Weinstein had been terminated by his own company.
The end of his employment as studio chief came days after the New York Times reported that the industry mogul had numerous claims of sexual harassment allegations leveled against him by multiple accusers.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, McGowan said the old way Hollywood functioned in regard to the treatment of women is done.
“Men in Hollywood need to change ASAP,” McGowan told THR. “Hollywood’s power is dying because society has changed and grown, and yet Hollywood male behavior has not. It is so not a good look. In the way cooler than Hollywood world I live and work in, I am actually embarrassed to be associated with it.”
She added, “The men of Hollywood need to know they own no woman. The days of Entourage-like behavior and thinking is as dated as your largely bro nature.”
With Weinstein out, McGowan said the next step was crystal clear, in her mind.
“I’m calling on the board to resign effective immediately,” she said. “And for other men to stop other men when they are being disgusting.”
McGowan, who early Sunday night shared the painting St. Michael Trampling the Dragon by Raphael (St. Michael is the patron saint of the warrior and of chivalry) on Twitter, also told THR that she had a message for females in Hollywood.
“And for the women in Hollywood, free your minds,” she said. “There are no ‘rules’ you have to play by. We affect the world’s mind because we are creating and disseminating thought propaganda. There is a great responsibility to be better than you have to be. Stand for women. Stand for truth. Stop hurting us. Rise.”
Iconic actress, Dame Judith Dench has added her voice to the growing chorus of dissent against Harvey Weinstein.
The British actress — who admitted in 2011 to having a tattoo dedicated to Weinstein on her buttocks — issued a statement Monday, just hours after Meryl Streep did the same, acknowledging her success in the industry alongside Weinstein but offering her full backing of those who have made allegations against him.
“Whilst there is no doubt that Harvey Weinstein has helped and championed my film career for the past 20 years, I was completely unaware of these offenses which are, of course, horrifying and I offer my sympathy to those who have suffered, and whole-hearted support to those who have spoken out,” she said.
The 82-year-old has a longstanding collaborative relationship with Weinstein since Miramax first distributed 1997’s Mrs Brown, her first film role (for which she received her first of seven Oscar nominations).
By: Walter Metuth