Update: October 14, 2017, 1:50 p.m. PT: Harvey Weinstein has been officially voted out of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. On the afternoon of Saturday, October 14, the venerated film body gathered to determine whether Weinstein would be allowed to remain in their ranks despite the overwhelming amount of allegations of sexual assault, harassment and rape made by an alarming amount of women in the film industry over the course of nearly two weeks.
In light of these events, The Hollywood Reporter confirmed the Academy did vote Weinstein out. The official statement given is this:
We do so not simply to separate ourselves from someone who does not merit the respect of his colleagues but also to send a message that the era of willful ignorance and shameful complicity in sexually predatory behavior and workplace harassment in our industry is over. What’s at issue here is a deeply troubling problem that has no place in our society. The Board continues to work to establish ethical standards of conduct that all Academy members will be expected to exemplify.
This vote makes Weinstein the second person to have ever been voted out of the Academy in the 90 years it has existed. The only other person voted out is actor Carmine Caridi who, according to THR, "was found to have violated the Academy’s policy against loaning awards season screeners when films he had been sent turned up online" in 2004.
Update: October 8, 2017, 4:50 p.m. PT: On Sunday afternoon, October 8, news emerged courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter that Harvey Weinstein was fired from the company he helped build, The Weinstein Company. Following serious allegations of sexual assault spanning more than two decades, Weinstein was fired by the studio's board of directors.
Per THR, The Weinstein Company's official statement read:
"In light of new information about misconduct by Harvey Weinstein that has emerged in the past few days, the directors of The Weinstein Company - Robert Weinstein, Lance Maerov, Richard Koenigsberg and Tarak Ben Ammar - have determined, and have informed Harvey Weinstein, that his employment with The Weinstein Company is terminated, effective immediately."
Weinstein's termination was decided on by The Weinstein Company's board of directors, comprising six people after three people resigned from the nine-person board over the allegations against him.
Weinstein has yet to release a statement about his termination at this time.
Original story: On the afternoon of Thursday October 5, prolific Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein issued a formal statement about and, through his lawyers, stated his intention to sue The New York Times for an explosive story published earlier in the day wherein a group of women, led by actor, politician and feminist Ashley Judd, alleged he sexually assaulted them. The report claims Weinstein sexually assaulted these women, respectively, over roughly a 20-year period. Judd is one of the few women who has gone on record to name Weinstein.
Mere hours after the NYT published their story, Weinstein came out in full force, issuing a statement and declaring the legal action he intended to pursue. Somewhat muddling the impact were reports issued simultaneously about a new film project involving one of the lawyers representing him, Lisa Bloom. It's been an incredibly eventful afternoon for Weinstein, to say the least.
Here Are The Allegations Made Against Weinstein
The extensive piece written by NYT staffers Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey is the result of more than a year's worth of work including interviews, research, and confirmation of statements. The resulting allegations made against Weinstein paint a picture of an award-winning, Democratic politician-approved studio head who has been quietly settling cases where claims of sexual harassment were made. His modus operandi is by and large described as the the same, reportedly inviting his female assistants or female actors working on Weinstein or Miramax films to a private hotel room. Once there, the women claimed he'd make repeated offers to massage them, get a massage from them, or in Judd's case, he allegedly asked if she wanted to watch him take a shower. This was often conducted by a fully naked Weinstein, who allegedly indicated to the women he'd make them famous and advance their careers in exchange for a number of sexual favors. For her part, Judd makes it clear she rejected his advances in every way possible: "I said no, a lot of ways, a lot of times, and he always came back at me with some new ask. It was all this bargaining, this coercive bargaining."
The NYT exposé also backs up claims currently being made on social media that Weinstein's behavior was commonly acknowledged, despite never being publicly commented on.
“'From the outside, it seemed golden — the Oscars, the success, the remarkable cultural impact,' said Mark Gill, former president of Miramax Los Angeles, which was then owned by Disney. 'But behind the scenes, it was a mess, and this was the biggest mess of all,' he added, referring to Mr. Weinstein’s treatment of women.
Dozens of Mr. Weinstein’s former and current employees, from assistants to top executives, said they knew of inappropriate conduct while they worked for him. Only a handful said they ever confronted him."
This was allegedly enforced by Weinstein and the use of clauses in contracts signed by employees that forbade them from speaking ill of Weinstein.
Word Of A Planned Weinstein Exposé Surfaced Earlier
On Wednesday October 4, The Hollywood Reporter wrote up that Weinstein had assembled a prominent legal team (Bloom, who has represented multiple celebrities over the years, and Charles Harder, who represented Hulk Hogan in his case against Gawker) to fight a potentially damaging story. At the time the report was written, THR did not make it clear what the story was in regard to; it was only clear that an extreme amount of focus was being put into getting the story killed: "It’s unclear what the Times is planning to report, but sources say the newspaper has been calling dozens of current and former employees and associates of Weinstein, going as far back as the executive’s days running Miramax more than two decades ago. The reporting team is also said to have procured internal human resources documents during the investigation."
Weinstein Quotes Jay-Z In His Formal Statement
Choosing the NYT as his conduit, Weinstein issued the following statement about the allegations made against him. Proverbial eyebrows across social media have been raised over his seemingly vaguely relevant quotation of Jay-Z and his intention to go after the NRA.
The Good Will Hunting producer opens his statement with the remark "I came of age in the '60s and '70s, when all the rules about behavior and workplaces were different. That was the culture then."
Weinstein proceeds to acknowledge his behavior while seemingly trying to absolve himself of any ill-will or negative images conjured by the allegations made against him.
"I have since learned it’s not an excuse, in the office - or out of it. To anyone. I realized some time ago that I needed to be a better person and my interactions with the people I work with have changed. I appreciate the way I’ve behaved with colleagues in the past has caused a lot of pain, and I sincerely apologize for it. Though I’m trying to do better, I know I have a long way to go. That is my commitment. My journey now will be to learn about myself and conquer my demons."
The most confusing portion of Weinstein's statement comes toward the end, where he name-checks Jay-Z, the NRA and "our President," whom he fails to name, but the phrasing implies he may be referring to President Donald Trump.
"Jay Z wrote in 4:44 'I'm not the man I thought I was and I better be that man for my children.' The same is true for me. I want a second chance in the community but I know I've got work to do to earn it. I have goals that are now priorities. [...] I am going to need a place to channel that anger so I've decided that I'm going to give the NRA my full attention. I hope Wayne LaPierre will enjoy his retirement party. I'm going to do it at the same place I had my Bar Mitzvah. I'm making a movie about our President, perhaps we can make it a joint retirement party."
It should be noted that nowhere in his statement does Weinstein personally apologize to Judd or any of the other women named in the NYT story. Additionally, SPIN magazine issued a report late Thursday afternoon that the quote Weinstein attributes to Jay-Z in his statement is a fake after having failed to find the exact phrase (only a verse that closely resembles Weinstein's own wording) in any of Jay-Z's songs off 4:44, adding a small but strange twist to an already messy developing story.
Next Steps For Weinstein
As Thursday winds down, the latest news from Weinstein's camp comes via Harder, who wrote in a statement to THR that they will be pursuing legal action against the NYT for these reported allegations.
"The New York Times published today a story that is saturated with false and defamatory statements about Harvey Weinstein. It relies on mostly hearsay accounts and a faulty report, apparently stolen from an employee personnel file, which has been debunked by nine different eyewitnesses. We sent the Times the facts and evidence, but they ignored it and rushed to publish. We are preparing the lawsuit now. All proceeds will be donated to women’s organizations."
Reps for the NYT have not responded at this time, nor have any of the women who spoke to the NYT who are named in the article.