Harvey Weinstein fired from company as sexual assault allegations mount

Harvey Weinstein has been a powerhouse in Hollywood for decades, with him and his brother Bob using their Miramax label to launch the careers of indie darlings Steven Soderberg, Quentin Tarantino, Kevin Smith and more. Now, within the span of the week, the man has become a Hollywood pariah after numerous allegations of sexual abuse and assault have come to light, resulting in the firing of the man from his own company – The Weinstein Company.

It all started when a New York Times article reported that Weinstein had spent decades making sexual advances on various women and paying them off for their silence. Actress Ashley Judd was the first to come forward in the report, saying how in the late 90’s she was invited up to his hotel room, where he was dressed in a bathrobe and offered to give her a massage or would like to watch him shower. Other women opened up about instances of sexual misconduct, with one colleague, Lauren O'Connor, stating that the company was a “toxic environment for women.”

Since the first report more women have come forward, most notably a reporter who claims Weinstein confronted her in a restaurant hallway, and proceeded to masturbate in front of her. A narrative seems to be that Weinstein would offer young women a leg up in the film business in return for sexual favors, and would sometimes appear to them naked, offering to give massages or watch him bathe.

The bad news continued to stack up for Weinstein, the peak coming when the board of The Weinstein Company – including his brother – elected to terminate him from the company. Weinstein has admitted being guilty to some of the allegations, and has since released an apology and said he is trying to "better" himself, having realized "some time ago" that he needed to change how he interacted with people. However, though admitting to some of the allegations, is still planning on suing the Times, as he says some of the other allegations are false. 

But celebrities do not seem interested in giving Weinstein that chance, as people like Jessica Chastain, Seth Rogen, Rose McGowen, Meryl Streep, Kate Winslet, George Clooney and many others have spoken out against Weinstein, calling his actions “indefensible” and “disgraceful.”

The news has come as a bit of a shock, not only because of the breadth of allegations but because Weinstein has been considered a liberal champion of women for years. He’s given money and hosted fundraisers for Hillary Clinton, and even gave Malia Obama an internship at his company. A recent report claims many Democratic organizations are giving any donated money back to Weinstein, as they condemned his actions and demanded he is fired.

Though the firing of Weinstein and the return of donated money seems to be the apex in the scandal, a new report from The Wrap claims that reports on his sexual misconduct could’ve been broken as far back as 2004 by the New York Times, where a reporter was investigating claims of sexual assault by Weinstein while he was in Europe.  A man named Fabrizio Lombardo was allegedly in charge of keeping these women quiet (as well as arranging Russian escorts for Weinstein), but actors such as Matt Damon and Russell Crowe called the New York Times to vouch for Lombardo, and the story was eventually scrapped by the head honchos at the Times. 

It's unclear where all of this will eventually lead as it's a developing story, but it would seem that Weinstein will have a very slim chance of bouncing back from something as serious as these allegations.

Source: New York Times



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