The Downfall Of Harvey Weinstein

The Downfall of Harvey Weinstein

 

Harvey Weinstein is an incredibly influential film producer, founder of multi-million-dollar media companies, and has the power to make or break people’s careers.  He is also a man who has been accused of numerous accounts of sexual harassment and assault. 

On October 5th, The New York Times published an expose revealing decades of sexual harassment at the hands of famed film producer Harvey Weinstein.  Many actresses, and other females involved in the film industry, have now come forward to share their own stories involving 65-year-old Weinstein, many of whom were just starting out in their careers at the time and felt they could not say anything due to his much higher level of power. 

The expose by journalists Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey, revealed that they discovered allegations dating back almost thirty years, in the form of legal records, emails, and internal documents. Over the years, Weinstein has reached a minimum of eight settlements with women whom he violated.  However, these settlements were “not to be construed as an admission.”

On October 10th, further allegations came to light when The New Yorker reported a story about the sexual assault of another thirteen women, including the rape of three.  The story – reported by Ronan Farrow – also highlighted an audio clip in which Weinstein admits he groped model Ambra Battilana Gutierrez and tried to convince her to come to his hotel room. 

The hotel room setting is a common factor in many of these allegations.  Actresses who believed they were meeting the award-winning producer for business meetings, would later be sent to his hotel room instead, where he would greet them in a bathrobe and request a massage or make sexual advances.  Situations like this were shared by actresses including, Rosanna Arquette, Mira Sorvino, and Angelina Jolie.  Italian actress, Asia Argento, shared her account of being raped by Weinstein with The New Yorker, stating that he “terrified me, and he was so big.  It wouldn’t stop.  It was a nightmare.”  Ultimately, all these women knew that Weinstein had the power to ruin their careers.

What possibly makes the whole thing worse, is that the actions of Harvey Weinstein were not a secret in the film industry.  Many of his employees throughout the years have been aware of or witnessed his behaviour, but were all made to sign contracts agreeing not to tarnish the names of their boss.  Weinstein released a statement apologising for the “pain” he had caused, and announced “I am going to fix myself, I am going to fix how I deal with women and how I deal with my temper and power.”  He is taking sabbatical leave from his work and seeking help from therapists.  However, his representatives have since announced they will be suing The New York Times, and have stated that all allegations published in the articles are false.

Despite his denial, Weinstein’s actions have not gone without consequences.  Not only has his wife left him due to the allegations, The Weinstein Company have fired him from the board and his membership of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts and the Oscars has been suspended.  It has also been reported that if these allegations end up in a criminal court, Weinstein could face between five and 25 years in jail.

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