Three days after a New York Times exposé detailed his decades-long history of sexual harassment, Harvey Weinstein has been fired from The Weinstein Company.
Said the studio in a statement (via TheWrap):
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.
Weinstein co-founded The Weinstein Company with his brother, Bob Weinstein, in 2005. But he’d established himself as a Hollywood power player decades before that, co-founding Miramax with his brother in the 1970s.
Over the years, he gained a reputation as an indie powerhouse – and a terror to work with. The Times spoke with nearly 20 women, including Ashley Judd, who shared stories of being sexually harassed by Weinstein. Collectively, their accounts paint a consistent and ongoing pattern of behavior.
Weinstein’s abuses of power were an open secret within the industry. To the extent that the Times story was surprising, it was less because his colleagues were unaware of his behavior, and more because stories about him were notoriously difficult to get on the record. Weinstein would use his considerable professional influence and financial power to keep his victims from speaking out.
Following the publication of the Times article, Weinstein issued a bizarre apology that misquoted Jay-Z (?), reaffirmed his commitment to fighting the NRA (??), and promoted an upcoming feature project about the president (?!). Then he decided he was so sorry, he had no choice but to try and sue the pants off the New York Times.
Weinstein’s story surely isn’t over. But this is a pretty dramatic twist, and one that would’ve seemed unlikely even five years ago. Remember, this guy’s power kept him insulated from consequences for literally decades. Hopefully, this is a sign that things are changing.
Now the question is whether this fall from grace really is that – or just a temporary blip before the industry forgives and forgets in another few months or years.