News broke out recently that a Hollywood big wig named Harvey Weinstein abused his power and influence in a 30 year-long reign of sexual harassment and physical violence. But who exactly is Weinstein, and why is he now getting so much negative press?
Harvey Weinstein is a Hollywood film producer known for famous films as Sex, Lies and Videotape,””Pulp Fiction” and “Good Will Hunting” to name a few. He has six Oscars under his belt, and is a self-proclaimed liberal, champion of women and a winner of artistic and humanitarian awards.
On the outside, Weinstein appeared to be not only a Hollywood luminary, but also a refined artist and a kind soul. However, it all turned out to be, like movies themselves, nothing more than make-believe to hide the ugly reality that has taken place for years. Now, that reality has been revealed in the public eye and has begun the demolition of Weinstein’s empire.
Here’s an excerpt from the New York Times:
Across the years and continents, accounts of Mr. Weinstein’s conduct share a common narrative: Women reported to a hotel for what they thought were work reasons, only to discover that Mr. Weinstein, who has been married for most of three decades, sometimes seemed to have different interests. His home base was New York, but his rolling headquarters were luxury hotels: the Peninsula Beverly Hills and the Savoy in London, the Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc near the Cannes Film Festival in France and the Stein Eriksen Lodge near the Sundance Film Festival.
Working for Mr. Weinstein could mean getting him out of bed in the morning and doing “turndown duty” late at night, preparing him for sleep. Like the colleague cited in Ms. O’Connor’s memo, some junior employees required to perform those tasks said they were disturbing.
In interviews, eight women described varying behavior by Mr. Weinstein: appearing nearly or fully naked in front of them, requiring them to be present while he bathed or repeatedly asking for a massage or initiating one himself. The women, typically in their early or middle 20s and hoping to get a toehold in the film industry, said he could switch course quickly — meetings and clipboards one moment, intimate comments the next. One woman advised a peer to wear a parka when summoned for duty as a layer of protection against unwelcome advances.
Most women who told The Times that they experienced misconduct by Mr. Weinstein had never met one another. They range in age from early 20s to late 40s and live in different cities. Some said they did not report the behavior because there were no witnesses and they feared retaliation by Mr. Weinstein. Others said they felt embarrassed. But most confided in co-workers.
Ms. Madden later told Karen Katz, a friend and colleague in the acquisitions department, about Mr. Weinstein’s overtures, including a time she locked herself in the bathroom of his hotel room, sobbing. “We were so young at the time,” said Ms. Katz, now a documentary filmmaker. “We did not understand how wrong it was or how Laura should deal with it.”
I’m sure there’s more detail to this revelation with more unsettling and disturbing reports and accusations, but ultimately, this unraveling story is still bitting him in the ass and won’t let go. More women are coming forward to give their stories. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has given him the boot. And his reputation, his real reputation, is now on full display. It’s almost certain that Weinstein will not come back from this one. And he doesn’t deserve to.