NEW YORK — Film mogul Harvey Weinstein has been ousted from the company he co-founded and that bears his name following a devastating New York Times expose that detailed years of sexual harassment allegations against him.
Here’s a look at the allegations, the man and the reactions:
On Thursday, The New York Times reported that Weinstein reached settlements with at least eight women since 1990 over sexual harassment allegations, including those from actress Ashley Judd and several former employees. In response, Weinstein issued a lengthy and rambling statement apologizing for past behavior causing pain, and saying he would take a leave of absence. But Weinstein and his lawyers also criticized The New York Times’ report in statements and interviews, and vowed an aggressive response. The New York Times said it was “confident in the accuracy of our reporting.”
The allegations triggered cascading chaos at the Weinstein Co. Numerous members of its all-male board have since stepped down. The prominent attorney Lisa Bloom, daughter of well-known Los Angeles women’s rights attorney Gloria Allred, on Saturday withdrew from representing Weinstein, as did another adviser, Lanny Davis. Pressure to act continued to mount on the board as more developments followed. Congressional Democrats, including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, donated to charities thousands of dollars in donations they had received from Weinstein.
On Sunday, the Weinstein Co. board of directors fired Weinstein in a statement, “in light of new information about misconduct by Harvey Weinstein that has emerged in the past few days.” The statement was signed by the four remaining board members: Bob Weinstein (Weinstein’s brother), Lance Maerov, Richard Koenigsberg and Tarak Ben Ammar.
FROM ‘GOD’ TO ‘INEXCUSABLE’
The latest Hollywood star to turn against Weinstein following the harassment revelations was Meryl Streep, who called Weinstein “God” when accepting her Golden Globe Award in 2012. On Monday, she wrote “The behavior is inexcusable, but the abuse of power familiar.”
“The disgraceful news about Harvey Weinstein has appalled those of us whose work he championed, and those whose good and worthy causes he supported,” Streep said in a statement. “The intrepid women who raised their voices to expose this abuse are our heroes.”
Others joining the chorus of critics included Jessica Chastain, director Paul Feig, Emmy Rossum, Lena Dunham, Heather Graham, Judd Apatow and Michael Keaton.
THE WEINSTEINS’ SWAY
Weinstein and his brother, Bob, founded the film distributor Miramax, named after their parents, Miriam and Max, in 1979. Miramax became a powerhouse in ’90s indie film, releasing numerous landmark films including Quentin Tarantino’s “Pulp Fiction,” Errol Morris’ “The Thin Blue Line,” Steven Soderbergh’s “Sex Lies and Videotape” and numerous Oscar winners, including “The English Patient” and “Shakespeare in Love.” While the brothers have operated as co-chairmen, Harvey Weinstein has always been the company’s primary operator, known for his tenacity, taste, bruising management style and aggressive Academy Awards campaigns.
The brothers sold their company to Disney in 1993 but remained its leaders. They exited in 2005 to form The Weinstein Co. Bankruptcy followed in 2009 but Weinstein mounted a comeback, and again began an Oscar streak with winners like “The Artist” and “The King’s Speech.” In recent years, the company has diminished in relevance and output, though it scored another best-picture nominee earlier this year with the thriller “Lion.” The Weinstein Co. last year let go 50 employees and continuously shuffled release dates while short of cash.
NEXT FOR THE WEINSTEIN COMPANY
Bob Weinstein, long in his brother’s shadow, now takes command of the company along with chief operating officer David Glasser. The Weinstein company has in recent years turned more toward television, producing series like the long-running “Project Runway” and the canceled Netflix drama “Marco Polo.” The company has tried to sell off its TV division, but has a hand in a number of projects in development, including Matthew Weiner’s upcoming Amazon series “The Romanoffs,” David O. Russell’s Amazon series with Robert De Niro and the upcoming miniseries “Waco,” with Taylor Kitsch as David Koresh.
It has several documentary serials planned, including a co-production with Jay Z on Trayvon Martin, of which Weinstein’s recently departed legal adviser Lisa Bloom is a collaborator. A few years ago, the company also made inroads on Broadway, backing the musical “Finding Neverland,” which closed without turning a profit or winning any awards, and had wanted to bring “Singin’ in the Rain” to Broadway, an effort that has stalled.
On the film side, The Weinstein Co. has been pushing its indie hit of the year, “Wind River” by Taylor Sheridan (“Hell or High Water”), for awards consideration this year. Its upcoming films include the Thomas Edison-George Westinghouse drama “The Current War,” with Benedict Cumberbatch. That film, poorly received on its fall festival debut, is due out Nov. 24. Due early next year is a sequel to the family film “Paddington.” The Weinstein Co. also has lined up Michael Moore’s Donald Trump film, “Fahrenheit 11/9,” and the biblical drama “Mary Magdalen,” with Rooney Mara, due out in March.