Just days after the NY Times published an article detailing "decades of sexual harassment allegations," Oscar-winning movie producer Harvey Weinstein has been fired from the production company he co-founded.
"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," The Weinstein Company said in a statement on Sunday.
Weinstein announced he was taking a leave of absence after the Times's story was published on Thursday. The Queens native's abrasive, bullying ways came as he rose to power as the head of Miramax and later The Weinstein Company as the company produced hits, award winners and zeitgeist films (sex, lies and videotape, Pulp Fiction, Shakespeare in Love, Good Will Hunting, The English Patient, The King's Speech, Spy Kids, Inglourious Basterds). The article detailed that Weinstein settled at least eight incidents where women accused him of sexual harassment or even assault. Actress Ashley Judd spoke on the record, revealing that the lecherous producer who asked her to watch him shower was Weinstein—and that he asked her to massage him while he was naked as well.
"I said no, a lot of ways, a lot of times, and he always came back at me with some new ask. It was all this bargaining, this coercive bargaining," she recalled.
— ashley judd (@AshleyJudd) October 8, 2017
In other instances, Weinstein allegedly preyed upon young, female assistants. Elizabeth Karlsen, who produced Carol and The Crying Game, told the Hollywood Reporter about an incident from nearly 30 years ago: An assistant "came to me directly and said that [Weinstein] had appeared naked in her bedroom," she said. Apparently Miramax had rented a house in London to save money, and Karlsen said, I don't know the extent of what did happen, but there was an out-of-court settlement and she left the company."
While Weinstein gave a strange, rambling apology where he both apologized for his behavior and blamed it on coming "of age in the 60's and 70's when all the rules about behavior and workplaces were different," he also accused the Times of "reckless reporting" and threatened to sue them for up to $50 million.
Still, his legal adviser, attorney Lisa Bloom, said that his behavior was "gross" (though, she added, the Times got some facts wrong) but he was trying to work on his issues, including his volcanic temper. NY Magazine's Rebecca Traister described how, in 2000, Weinstein violently attacked her boyfriend, reporter Andrew Goldman, by pushing him down the stairs of a Tribeca hotel.
Weisntein's behavior was apparently an "open" secret in Hollywood. In 2014, 30 Rock even alluded to it, with character Jenna Maroney saying, "I'm not afraid of anyone in showbiz. I turned down intercourse with Harvey Weinstein on no less than three occasions. Out of five."
Other journalists have been recounting how they also had been working on stories about Weinstein's actions over the years, but were stymied by sources who backed out, due to fear.
The media's white whale. Finally, finally, finally 👏 https://t.co/5xxzBVdE98
— Janice Min (@janicemin) October 5, 2017
Another of the women that Weinstein settled with was actress Rose McGowan. The settlement reportedly said that it was not an admission of Weinstein's guilt—and it also prohibited McGowan from speaking about it. McGowan found a way around it:
Anyone who does business with __ is complicit. And deep down you know you are even dirtier. Cleanse yourselves.
— rose mcgowan (@rosemcgowan) October 5, 2017
— rose mcgowan (@rosemcgowan) October 9, 2017
Some Hollywood stars, like Lena Dunham, Brie Larson and Patricia Arquette, have been expressing their disgust with Weinstein, but others wonder when, if ever, actresses who have benefited from Weinstein's support, like Nicole Kidman, Gwyneth Paltrow and Meryl Streep, are going to speak out against him.
Thread: anyone saying these women are weak for taking a settlement or waiting to come forward- you don't understand what intimidation means
— Lena Dunham (@lenadunham) October 7, 2017
Imagine you'd worked your ass off to get into an industry and coming forward would take it all away?
— Lena Dunham (@lenadunham) October 7, 2017
According to the Times, Weinstein found out he was fired by email.
Remember: The Weinstein Company didn't fire Harvey because they found out he was a sexual predator. They fired him because WE found out.
— Laurie Stark (@heylauriestark) October 9, 2017