In the wake of Harvey Weinstein’s fall from Hollywood grace, Kim Masters wonders if the industry will learn any lessons.
Finally the dam has broken. Why now? Harvey’s luster has faded when it comes to picking movies, and for some years, he has not seemed as invincible as he once did. Maybe, as some have speculated, his brother has chosen this moment to do him in. I suspect that an internal Weinstein Co. memo in which an employee outlined alleged sexual harassment and other misconduct on Harvey’s part may have provided the wedge that was needed to break the story, and who knows who slipped that into the hands of reporters?
But it seems clear that in the wake of Bill Cosby and Fox News, women are less willing to stay silent. There has always been tension in the movie business over what to tolerate in the name of art or profit or, preferably, both. Roman Polanski and Woody Allen present the issue in sharp relief, and among producers, so has Harvey for the many who knew what was constantly alleged about him in whispers.
Most in the industry — though not all — preferred to cling to an innocent-until-proven guilty rationalization or simply to look away. But now, even as adult audiences are hungrier than ever for the type of bold and brilliant movies that Harvey sent into the world, the consensus seems clear: The price is much too high to pay. Full column.
Weinstein weekend update…
+ Weinstein Co. boots Harvey. The board made the decision to oust the mogul from his company at a meeting held Sunday afternoon. Statement: “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,” read a statement from the TWC board.
+ What could happen with a Weinstein N.Y. Times lawsuit? Eriq Gardner writes: The mogul would face an uphill battle in quashing testimony of anyone who did wish to testify, experts say, because he’s the one who would be putting the facts of the matter at issue by launching the litigation. Full story.
+ Meryl Streep speaks out. “The behavior is inexcusable, but the abuse of power familiar,” the Oscar winner said. “Each brave voice that is raised, heard and credited by our watchdog media will ultimately change the game.”
+ Rose McGowan comments. “Men in Hollywood need to change ASAP,” McGowan stated. “Hollywood’s power is dying because society has changed and grown, and yet Hollywood male behavior has not. It is so not a good look. In the way cooler than Hollywood world I live and work in, I am actually embarrassed to be associated with it.”
+Carol producer recalls incident involving another alleged victim. Elizabeth Karlsen says a young female exec who worked with Miramax told her that Weinstein had appeared naked in her bedroom thirty years ago.
+ Lisa Bloom resigns. The Harvey defender leaves his team, along with crisis-management team member Lanny Davis.
+ DNC gives away more than $30,000 worth of Weinstein donations. The Democratic organization said it will donate the money to EMILY’s List, Emerge America and Higher Heights.
+ John Oliver chimes in. On Sunday night, Oliver’s Last Week Tonight became the first late-night show to address the controversy head-on.
+ So did Donald Trump. “I’ve known Harvey Weinstein for a long time,” the president told reporters Saturday afternoon. “I’m not at all surprised.”
+ Also Kathy Griffin. During her return to the stage last night in downtown L.A., the comedian took jabs at not just at Harvey but also Trump, Billy Bush, and other “deplorables.”
Elsewhere in film…
^Some Oscar contenders are getting pushed to 2018.Tatiana Siegel writes: To make a bid for Oscar this year or wait until 2018? That was a key question that complicated the film acquisitions market at the year’s Toronto International Film Festival, where most sellers were looking for deals that included a 2017 release for their films so that they would qualify for Academy Award consideration this awards season. But not everyone got one.
+ A number of films with strong acting performances — from The Children Act, starring Emma Thompson, to The Wife, starring Glenn Close, and On Chesil Beach, starring Saoirse Ronan — found buyers but won’t get an awards-qualifying birth this year, much to the dismay of their backers. A24 plans to release Children Act in 2018, and Sony Pictures Classics with The Wife and Bleecker Street with Chesil Beach plan to do the same — so should those films eventually score Oscar noms, they won’t be announced until 2019. Full story.
► Blade Runner 2049 disappoints at box office. Despitestrong reviews and a high audience approval rating, Denis Villeneuve’s big-budget sci-fi sequel only pulled in $31.5 million, well below expectations. Still, the movie placed No. 1 for the weekend. Full story.
+ On the other hand, the film has reportedly secured a release date in China, which should boost its box office total.
+The Mountain Between Us, meanwhile, took in $10.1 million, while It crossed $600 million globally.
► Defy Media terminates Honest Trailers founder Andy Signore. The firing comes shortly after sexual abuse allegations against Signore came to light.
► Star Wars: The Last Jedi trailer to debut during Monday Night Football. The Disney film’s new preview will drop at halftime of tonight’s Vikings-Bears matchup on ESPN.
► New JusticeLeague trailer brings in Henry Cavill. The film’s fourth trailer tackles the death of Superman head on.
► Marvel nixes Northrop Grumman partnership after backlash. The studio’s attempt to team up with a bona fide defense technology company rubbed fans the wrong way.