Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

Hollywood mogul Weinstein fired after sex harassment claims

Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein was fired from his film studio The Weinstein Company on Sunday following reports that he sexually harassed women over several decades.

“In light of new information about misconduct by Harvey Weinstein that has emerged in the past few days, the directors of The Weinstein Company… have determined, and have informed Harvey Weinstein, that his employment with The Weinstein Company is terminated, effective immediately,” the company’s board said in a statement quoted by US media.

The firing came after The New York Times published a bombshell report earlier this week that alleged Weinstein, whose company produced such hits as “The King’s Speech” and “The Artist,” preyed on young women hoping to break into the film industry.

The accusers — reportedly including celebrities such as Rose McGowan and Ashley Judd — say Weinstein promised to help advance their careers in exchange for sexual favours, pressuring them to massage him and watch him naked.

Republicans have pounced on the scandal because Weinstein has been a major backer of Democratic candidates. Many Democratic lawmakers have since vowed to give their contributions from Weinstein to charity.

President Donald Trump, who said he had known Weinstein for a “very long time,” said he was “not at all surprised” by the revelations.

Trump faced his own sex scandal last year when video emerged of him using lewd language to describe groping women.

Hollywood powerhouse fades 

Many in the entertainment industry have spoken out in the wake of the allegations, expressing support for the alleged victims.

“The women who chose to speak about their experience of harassment by Harvey Weinstein deserve our awe,” actress and self-proclaimed feminist Lena Dunham said. “It’s not fun or easy, it’s brave.”

Five of the company’s nine all-male board members have resigned over the scandal. The remaining members are Robert Weinstein, Lance Maerov, Richard Koenigsberg and Tarak Ben Ammar.

It was not immediately clear what would happen to the share Weinstein owns in the company.

In a statement, Weinstein — a staunch Democratic campaign fundraiser who backed Hillary Clinton in her presidential bid — said he respected all women and was hoping for a second chance while acknowledging he had “work to do to earn it.”

His lawyer Charles Harder, hired to prepare a lawsuit against the Times, said the newspaper’s report “relies on mostly hearsay accounts and a faulty report, apparently stolen from an employee personnel file, which has been debunked by nine different eyewitnesses.”

He promised to donate any proceeds from the lawsuit to women’s organizations.

A father-of-two married to British fashion designer Georgina Chapman, Weinstein is considered a powerhouse in Hollywood and many of his movies have picked up Oscars over the years, including “Good Will Hunting” and “The Artist.”

He formed the Miramax production house in the late 1970s with his brother and then sold it to Disney. The pair went on to create the highly successful Weinstein Company.

Subscribe to the M&G

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them.

Agence France Presse
Agence France Presse works from worldwide. AFP Photo's official Twitter account. Tweeting news and features from Agence France-Presse's global photo network Agence France Presse has over 120540 followers on Twitter.

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

If you’re reading this, you clearly have great taste

If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to the Mail & Guardian for less than the cost of a cup of coffee a week, and get more great reads.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Subscribers only

‘Exciting’ ramp-up for Covid jabs

As more vaccines arrive in the country, South Africa could administer 420 000 doses a day

Mokgoro was party to talks of his resignation

The North West premier has defied the interim provincial committee’s decision

More top stories

‘Exciting’ ramp-up for Covid jabs

As more vaccines arrive in the country, South Africa could administer 420 000 doses a day

Mokgoro was party to talks of his resignation

The North West premier has defied the interim provincial committee’s decision

Richard Calland: Cyril’s wicked cabinet conundrum

Three weeks ago, a second term for the president seemed a safe bet, but the insurgency has thrown the puzzle pieces in the air

ConCourt finds that protection of LGBT+ rights was intrinsic to...

The court also found that the term hurtful should be excised from the Equality Act in that it did not meet the justification threshold in the Constitution and gave Parliament 24 months to do so
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×