You might not necessarily have heard of his name before, but he’s responsible for some of the biggest, most successful movies of the last two decades. But after sexual harassment reports were filed against him, the movie tycoon Harvey Weinstein was fired by his own company on Sunday 8 October. It has been alleged that he used his position of power to lure women to hotel rooms promising work, but would make sexual advances instead. The exact number of women is unknown, but the sexual harassment is alleged to have gone on for over two decades, with celebrities like Ashley Judd and general film employees as his targets.
Harvey has owned up to his actions (he has however denied some of the allegations) and promised to work on himself and how he deals with women, according to The Guardian. He has also in part blamed the atmosphere of the 60s and 70s for shaping his approach to women, despite the fact that 37 years have passed since the 70’s ended.
According to the BBC Harvey’s lawyer, Lisa Bloom, commented that he has admits his mistakes, and will be ‘reading books’ and ‘going to therapy’. The lawyer also added that ‘he is an old dinosaur learning new ways.’ Lisa has since terminated her working relationship with Weinsten.
Ashley Judd and Rose McGowan have both stated that he sexually harassed them. Other celebrities have come out to support the decision made by the Weinstein board of directors to remove Harvey from the company:
Men like Weinstein threaten what you hold dear- your safety, financial freedom and yes- career
— Lena Dunham (@lenadunham) October 7, 2017
To be clear what Harvey Weinstein did was a disgusting abuse of power and horrible. I hope we are now seeing the beginning of the end of these abuses.
— Mark Ruffalo (@MarkRuffalo) October 8, 2017
You do know that even with Harvey admitting this STILL people don’t believe them.
— Patricia Arquette (@PattyArquette) October 9, 2017
In an industry like Hollywood, this couldn’t have been a secret. Should we applaud the board of directors? Or criticise them for only taking action now? As the YouTuber Stefan Molyneaux so aptly put, ‘[The Weinstein Company board members] don’t care about what he did, it was an open secret – they only care that he got exposed.’ Alarmingly, The New York Times reported that Weinstein had even paid as many as eight women settlements to keep them quiet, including an an assistant in 1990; as well as an actress in 1997.
Easy to think Weinstein company took swift action but this has actually been the slowest action because they always always knew
— Lena Dunham (@lenadunham) October 9, 2017
Harvey Weinsten founded Miramax and is the recipient of several industry awards. This is a huge moment for Hollywood as one of its most powerful men, (responsible for films like Silver Linings Playbook, My Week With Marilyn and Carol) has been revealed as a reckless sexual predator.
Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie are among the latest celebrities to come out and talk about Harvey Weinstein. Gwyneth was only 22 when she worked with Harvey for the first time on the film Emma. He made sexual advances, which she refused. At the time Gwyneth was dating Brad Pitt, who she confided in. He confronted Harvey, who in turn went on to tell Gwyneth never to tell anyone about the incident again. According to The New York Times, Gwyneth said she was scared of being fired and kept quiet. Other women that have come forward include Katherine Kendall, Rosanna Arquette and Judith Godreche.