Harvey Weinstein Fired After Reports of Sexual Harassment
Harvey Weinstein has been fired from the film company he co-founded, three days after a New York Times investigation detailed numerous incidents of alleged sexual harassment by the media mogul.
The remaining board of directors at The Weinstein Company said the decision was made “in light of new information about misconduct by Harvey Weinstein that has emerged in the past few days.”
Weinstein is Hollywood royalty. He produced “Shakespeare in Love,” which won the best picture Oscar in 1999, and “Gangs of New York,” which was nominated in the same category in 2003. Other hits include “The King’s Speech” and “Django Unchained.”
Weinstein’s brother Robert, who goes by Bob, was one of the board members who made the decision.
“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,” a statement from the company said Sunday evening.
The board used to have more than four members. According to the Times, three other board directors resigned on Friday as the Weinstein scandal became international news.
Back then, two days ago, the remaining board members said they supported Weinstein’s choice to take a “leave of absence,” and they left the door open for him to return to the film company someday. “Next steps will depend on Harvey’s therapeutic progress, the outcome of the Board’s independent investigation, and Harvey’s own personal decisions,” they said.
Over the weekend, the scandal deepened and became an even more serious threat to the future of the company.
Some clients of the Weinstein Co. said they might stop working with the company if Harvey Weinstein was still associated with it.
Two attorneys who were advising Weinstein, Lanny Davis and Lisa Bloom, quit working with him.
“My understanding is that Mr. Weinstein and his board are moving toward an agreement,” Bloom tweeted on Saturday.
Indeed, discussions between Weinstein’s attorneys and the board were underway up until Sunday afternoon, according to a source with knowledge of the matter.
Those discussions ended with Sunday evening’s announcement.
All of this was prompted by Thursday’s Times expose, which revealed the powerful film producer has faced many accusations of sexual harassment spanning decades. He reached at least eight settlements with women between 1990 and 2015.
Weinstein’s behavior had been the subject of whispers in Hollywood for decades. But he was mostly able to keep the allegations out of the press until this year.
Actress Ashley Judd was among the accusers who spoke to the Times for the story.
When the story came out on Thursday, Weinstein denied some of the allegations but also admitted that he had behaved improperly at times during his career. He apologized for causing pain.
“I cannot be more remorseful about the people I hurt and I plan to do right by all of them,” Weinstein said in a statement.
A Hollywood guessing game immediately began. Would Weinstein be able to save his career? Would he remain associated with his company?
He had no immediate comment on Sunday evening.
Weinstein is a larger-than-life figure in the film world. His first major success came at Miramax Films, where he and his brother Bob championed prestige films and set a new bar while running awards campaigns by throwing expensive events in an attempt to lure voters.
Weinstein’s approach helped “Shakespeare in Love” unexpectedly earn best picture honors over Steven Spielberg’s “Saving Private Ryan.”
The Weinsteins sold Miramax to Disney in 1993, and they left the company in 2005 to start The Weinstein Company.
There, they saw success with films like “Silver Linings Playbook,” “The King’s Speech” and “Django Unchained.”
The company’s recent films include “Lion,” “Gold” and “Wind River.”