The fate of The Weinstein Company itself has come into question as allegations continue in the ongoing Harvey Weinstein scandal.
Rumors of a sale or shutdown have gained serious weight to the point that Harvey’s brother Bob Weinstein has now been quick to assure the industry that everything is going fine at the company. He has given the following statement (via The Playlist:
“Our banks, partners and shareholders are fully supportive of our company and it is untrue that the company or board is exploring a sale or shutdown of the company. Polaroid is moving forward as planned with a release date of November 22nd followed by Paddington 2 on January 12th…. “War with Grandpa” starring Robert De Niro is scheduled for February 23rd 2018. Business is continuing as usual as the company moves ahead.”
The statement, surprisingly not issued from a burning building twenty miles from the nearest water source, makes no mention of the Benedict Cumberbatch-led “The Current War” which was previously scheduled for limited release on November 24th before going wide in January.
Floated as a possible awards candidate earlier this year, a disastrous reception in Toronto led to Harvey Weinstein himself saying he was going to edit the film – it’s not clear if any editing has been done, but the film is no longer on their release schedule. Certainly its chances of awards prospects are now over.
Other projects that Weinstein has been involved in have also hit troubles. Harvey has been removed by Disney as a producer on the adaptation of Eoin Colfer’s “Artemis Fowl” books which has Kenneth Branagh attached to direct and produce.
Oliver Stone has cut his ties to the “Guantanamo” series in the works due to the involvement of The Weinstein Company, but the filmmaker has now also been accused by former Playboy model Carrie Stevens of groping her breast at a party 26 years ago according to Refinery29.
More key filmmakers and actors have come forward about their personal dealings with both Weinstein and the systemic problem of sexual harassment within the industry.
James Van Der Beek notably took to Twitter to relate his personal experiences when he was young about being grabbed by “older, powerful men” and he understands “the unwarranted shame, powerlessness & inability to blow the whistle.” Tom Hanks, who has never worked with Weinstein, was asked by The New York Times about Hollywood sheltering this sort of behaviour to which he responded:
“Well, that’s a really good question and isn’t it part and parcel to all of society somehow, that people in power get away with this? Look, I don’t want to rag on Harvey but so obviously something went down there. You can’t buy, ‘Oh, well, I grew up in the ’60s and ’70s and so therefore…’ I did, too. So I think it’s like, well, what do you want from this position of power? I know all kinds of people that just love hitting on, or making the lives of underlings some degree of miserable, because they can.”
Filmmaker Quentin Tarantino, a friend of Weinstein for over two decades, has been notably quiet throughout this whole thing. He’s now issued a brief statement saying he “needs a few more days to process my pain, emotions, anger and memory” and then he’ll speak publicly about it.
Notable actresses like Lea Seydoux, Kate Beckinsale, Cara Delevingne and Claire Forlani have all spoken about their personal experiences with Weinstein and his detestable behavior, while Emma Thompson has given a superb interview with BBC Newsnight about her dealings with him and the system that supported it – one of bullying, harassment and a crisis of extreme masculinity:
The Producers Guild of America will determine the professional fate of Harvey Weinstein in an emergency meeting over the weekend with the group expected to vote Saturday on whether or not to boot him from their ranks four years after they honored him with their most prestigious award. BAFTA has already suspended him, and he now faces expulsion from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences with an emergency meeting called for this morning to discuss action against him.
Finally, if you haven’t already seen it, check out this amusing ‘Penis PSA’ from Full Frontal’s Samantha Bee that was released Wednesday night and has since gone viral.