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Harvey Weinstein accused of sexual harassment

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Movie-mogul Harvey Weinstein has been sacked from his company after an explosive report detailing sexual-harassment allegations that date back decades.

The New York Times published an exposé on October 5 that documented Weinstein’s alleged sexual harassment and private settlements over the years – including on-the-record statements from actress Ashley Judd and other women. The newspaper reported that there were several accounts of Weinstein asking women up to hotel rooms, where he would ask for a massage or for women to watch him shower.

Weinstein – the movie-mogul behind Oscar winning hits such as The King’s SpeechShakespeare in Love and Pulp Fictionsaid that he “sincerely apologized” and that he was “trying to do better.”

That did little to stem the tide of actors who came forward to speak of their experiences at the hands of the producer. Actress Rose McGowan – who the New York Times reported received a settlement  – slammed a “30 year cover up.”

News of Weinstein’s alleged improprieties was the latest to ensnare high-profile men in entertainment. It came just months after former Fox News television host Bill O’Reilly was accused of sexual harassment. The late Fox News founder and former Chairman Roger Ailes was also fired for the same reason last year.

Three Weinstein Company board members resigned on October 7. The same day, Weinstein lawyer Lisa Bloom unexpectedly resigned. Bloom did not provide a reason but said on Twitter that her “understanding is that Mr. Weinstein and his board are moving toward an agreement.”

On October 9, the Weinstein Company, a film studio that Weinstein co-founded with his brother Bob, said he had been terminated — “effective immediately” — in “light of new information about misconduct.”

Latest developments 

UPDATE – October 27, 2017

  • Harvey Weinstein has sued The Weinstein Company over personal records. He sued his former company after his lawyer’s request for personal documents from them – to defend Weinstein – was denied. He believes information from these documents is being leaked to the media and may sue for wrongful termination, according to the BBC.

October 20, 2017

  • The American director Quentin Tarantino admitted “I knew enough to do more than I did”, in regards to Weinstein’s behavior. “It wasn’t secondhand. I knew he did a couple of these things” he told The New York Times (paywall). A previous girlfriend of Tarantino, Mira Sorvino, had told him about an incident involving Weinstein making unwelcome advances and touching her.
    • Tarantino worked with Weinstein on films such as Inglourious BasterdsDjango Unchained and The Hateful Eight.
  • Lena Headey, who plays Cersei Lannister, in the HBO show Game of Thrones, has accused producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment. She published a series of tweets recounting her story, in which one post says he was “furious” after she resisted his sexual advances. Over 40 women have now accused Weinstein of misconduct.
  • Weinstein has left the board of his company, according to a company spokesperson, as outlined in The New York Times.
  • Harvey Weinstein’s brother, Bob, has been accused of inappropriate behavior by female TV producer, Amanda Segel, according to The Guardian. Segel claims that harassment by Bob Weinstein didn’t stop until her attorney warned Weinstein Company executives, including its chief financial officer, that she was prepared to quit as the producer for The Mist. The Weinstein Company denied to magazine Variety that an attorney for Segel had contacted the chief operating officer. Bob Weinstein’s lawyer, Bert Fields, said in a statement that Segel’s claims were “riddled with false and misleading assertions.”

October 15, 2017

  • The organisation behind the Oscars, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, has expelled Weinstein from its board following numerous allegations of sexual assault. The Academy said its reason to expel Weinstein is not simply to separate from him, but also “to send a message that the era of wilful ignorance and shameful complicity in sexually predatory behaviour and workplace harassment in our industry is over”.
  • Actress Rose McGowan has publicly accused Harvey Weinstein of raping her on Twitter. In a series of tweets addressed to Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, McGowan criticised the company for doing business with Weinstein. She also said that she told Amazon Studio chief Roy Price about the incident who rebutted her allegations. Price, also accused of sexually harassing a female producer, is on a leave of absence since Thursday. Neither Weinstein nor Price have responded to McGowan’s claims directly. Weinstein has, through a spokesperson, “unequivocally denied” any allegations of non-consensual sex.
  • The investigation into Weinstein’s sexual allegations has crossed the Atlantic, with London police looking into allegations of sexual assault. London’s police force said the allegations were passed on by Merseyside Police, who confirmed a report of “alleged sexual assault in the London area in the 1980s.”
  • Weinstein’s wife and fashion designer Georgina Chapman said that she’s leaving him. “My heart breaks for all the women who have suffered tremendous pain because of these unforgivable actions,” she told People magazine.
  • Actresses Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie told The New York Times they too had experienced sexual harassment. Paltrow told the newspaper that Weinstein had asked her to come to his hotel room for a massage when she was 22 years old — and that her then-boyfriend Brad Pitt had confronted Weinstein and warned him to never touch Paltrow again. Jolie, meanwhile, said Weinstein made sexual advances towards her in the late 1990s and as a result she “chose never to work with him again and warn others when they did.”
  • The New Yorker has published a lengthy article that features more women – including actresses Mira Sorvino, Emma DeCaunes and Asia Argento – accusing Weinstein of sexual harassment. It also reported on allegations of rape –  prompting a rebuttal from Weinstein’s spokeswoman, Sallie Hofmeister. “Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein. Mr. Weinstein has further confirmed that there were never any acts of retaliation against any women for refusing his advances,” Hofmeister said in a statement.
  • Former president Barack Obama and 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton have denounced the movie mogul. Obama said in a statement that he was “disgusted” by the recent reports. Weinstein has donated more than $1.4 million to the Democrats since the 1992 election cycle.
  • Women in Hollywood have spoken out about the scandal – including to urge others to show support. Lena Dunham urged Hollywood to break its silence. Emily Best, an LA-based film producer, said she was not surprised by Weinstein’s behavior because it had been “open secret” in the film industry for years.


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United Kingdom
Linh is a staff journalist at WikiTribune with a background in the humanities. She covers the Middle East, Asia, conflict and technology. Though based in London, she has freelanced across Asia, the UK and U.S.

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29 January 2018

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  1. Rewrite

    The developments/update section is excellent. Saw excellent wider implications interviews with Jane Fonda and Emma Thompson. That perspective can be added?

  2. Rewrite

    Hi, folks – have we given any thought to re-topping this story with the explosive growth of “me too” on social media? This feels like a sea change.

  3. Rewrite

    Like so many things that pop up, this Weinstein story is most likely just one example of an extant problem. Reports, rumors & jokes about the “casting couch” go back to the earliest days of the film industry–further back, even, & in other industries, governments, etc., as well.
    A good start in solving the problem would be an expansion of the reporting on this grotesque character to try & determine how widespread this sort of harassment is, not only in entertainment but in our culture as a whole.
    How many producers, directors, politicians & managers can we call on the carpet? Naming & shaming may help improve our culture.
    With the focus that this case is attracting, many women & men may now be more willing to come forward regarding harassment by former & current bosses, clients, etc.

    1. Rewrite

      Indeed.

      This is where the surrounding context, wider implications AND future nature of the emerging story become an anchor for real news …

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