Harvey Weinstein's firing rocks Hollywood
Jonathan Hunt reports from Los Angeles on the fallout over the sexual harassment scandal.
Hollywood is dealing with the aftermath of a bombshell New York Times report which detailed mogul Harvey Weinstein’s alleged sexual misconduct toward women spanning decades — and that he has made eight settlements related to the accusations.
In the fallout from the story, Weinstein was fired by The Weinstein Company – the studio he cofounded with his brother, Bob – during the weekend.
Weinstein, the Times report said, settled for $100,000 with “Scream” actress Rose McGowan in 1997 following a hotel room incident. The settlement, however, didn’t admit guilt, the paper described a legal document as saying.
The Times report also described how Weinstein, while in a bathrobe in his hotel room, allegedly asked if he could give actress Ashley Judd a massage or the star could watch him take a shower.
“How do I get out of the room as fast as possible without alienating Harvey Weinstein?” Judd told the newspaper she recalled thinking.
Here’s how Hollywood and some of its famous faces have been reacting.
“Anyone who does business with __ is complicit,” McGowan tweeted Thursday. “And deep down you know you are even dirtier. Cleanse yourselves.”
McGowan has been active on Twitter in the days since.
“This is about a power structure that needs to be brought down. I cannot thank the women who came forward & the boss writers at #NYT enough,” she said in a Saturday tweet.
She also posted a photo of herself on Twitter Sunday, writing, “This is the girl that was hurt by a monster. This is who you are shaming with your silence.”
Both McGowan and Judd have been thanking celebrities on Twitter who have spoken out in the wake of the article’s publication.
“I believe all the women coming forward about Harvey Weinstein’s sexual harassment,” Rogen tweeted Saturday. “It takes bravery to do so.”
“As a father of 2 girls, I thank women like @lenadunham @AshleyJudd & @rosemcgowan 4 their candor, bravery & vocalness,” the “Beauty and the Beast” actor tweeted Saturday.
“Huge respect for @AshleyJudd and all the women who broke their silence for the article on Harvey Weinstein. Brave,” Sarandon tweeted Saturday.
“To be clear what Harvey Weinstein did was a disgusting abuse of power and horrible,” the actor tweeted on Sunday. “I hope we are now seeing the beginning of the end of these abuses.”
Actress Jessica Chastain retweeted Ruffalo’s message Sunday, calling him a “wonderful human.”
“You're brave @AshleyJudd. I believe you,” the “Boogie Nights ” actress tweeted Sunday.
“He financed the first 14 years of my career – and now I know while I was profiting, others were in terrible pain,” the “Clerks” director tweeted Monday. “It makes me feel ashamed.”
“The “old dinosaur” explanation doesn’t cut it,” Rossum tweeted Monday. “DECADES of using power to intimidate women for sexual gain is reprehensible and inexcusable.”
She followed that up with another tweet, which said, “I applaud all women for speaking up. It’s scary to be the first one to speak out against something or someone. But you’re not solo for long.”
“There is no excuse for monsters like Harvey Weinstein,” the “Bridesmaids” director tweeted Monday. “It’s up to all of us, men and women, to speak up against sexual harassment and abuse.”
“1. Coming forward about sexual abuse and coercion is scary and women have nothing to be gained personally by doing so,” the Oscar winner tweeted Monday.
“2. But through their bravery we move forward as a culture, and I thank them,” she said in a follow up message. “Stand with @AshleyJudd @rosemcgowan and others.”
“H Weinstein -yikes! Disgusting and creepy. So is "leader of the free world" btw,” the “Birdman” star tweeted Monday.
Dench denied knowing about the allegations against Weinstein.
“Whilst there is no doubt that Harvey Weinstein has helped and championed my film career for the past 20 years, I was completely unaware of these offences which are, of course, horrifying and I offer my sympathy to those who have suffered, and wholehearted support to those who have spoken out,” she told Newsweek Monday.
Dench won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Queen Elizabeth I in the 1998 movie “Shakespeare in Love.” Weinstein was a producer on the film.
“If there is a way to cure yourself of being a predator than I hope harvey learns what it is & shares it with the world. It's an epidemic,” Arquette tweeted Monday.
In a statement to HuffPost, she called reports of sexual harassment against Weinstein “disgraceful” and said she was unaware of the alleged incidents.
“The behavior is inexcusable but the abuse of power familiar,” she said. Streep praised “the intrepid women who raised their voices.”
Streep also sought to counter the suggestion that everyone in Hollywood knew of Weinstein’s conduct. She said he was “respectful with me in our working relationship.” Weinstein has produced multiple movies starring Streep.
“The fact that these women are starting to speak out about the gross misconduct of one of our most important and well regarded film producers, is incredibly brave and has been deeply shocking to hear,” Winslet said in a statement issued to Variety. “The way Harvey Weinstein has treated these vulnerable, talented young women is NOT the way women should ever EVER deem to be acceptable or commonplace in ANY workplace.”
“I appreciate the way I’ve behaved with colleagues in the past has caused a lot of pain, and I sincerely apologize for it,” Weinstein told the Times in a Thursday statement. “Though I’m trying to do better, I know I have a long way to go.”
Weinstein later said that he planned to sue the newspaper for $50 million.
“We are confident in the accuracy of our reporting," a New York Times spokesperson said. "Mr. Weinstein was aware and able to respond to specific allegations in our story before publication. In fact, we published his response in full."
The Weinstein Company
Before his firing, Weinstein had taken an indefinite leave of absence following the Times expose.
On Friday, the Weinstein Company board endorsed that decision and announced an investigation into the allegations, saying it would determine the co-chairman’s future with the company.
The allegations have triggered movement at the Weinstein Company, and a third of the all-male board has stepped down since Thursday.
Weinstein was fired by his brother Bob and three other directors on the film company’s board.
“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 board said in a statement Sunday night.
The company may also change its name, according to a report from The Wrap.
The prominent attorney Lisa Bloom, daughter of well-known Los Angeles women’s rights attorney Gloria Allred, on Saturday withdrew her representation of Weinstein, as did another adviser, Lanny Davis.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.