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Accuracy • Independence • Integrity

December 15, 2017   |   Ithaca, NY

Opinion

National Recap: Weinstein accused of sexual assault

The Weinstein Company fired Harvey Weinstein, one of its co-founders, after an investigation by the New York Times uncovered Weinstein had settlements with at least eight women after alleged instances of sexual harassment and unwanted physical contact.

Lauren O’Connor, a former employee at the Weinstein Company, is one of the women with whom Weinstein has a settlement. O’Connor wrote an internal memo in 2015 that called the company “a toxic environment for women” and wrote, “I am a professional and have tried to be professional. I am not treated that way, however. I am sexualized and diminished.”

Actresses Ashley Judd and Rose McGowan are also among the women that have settlements with Weinstein. Thirteen women have come forward so far, according to a report by the New Yorker.

Weinstein released a statement Oct. 5 after the New York Times published their investigation. He apologized for his actions, saying, “I appreciate the way I’ve behaved with colleagues in the past has caused a lot of pain, and I sincerely apologize for it.

Lisa Bloom, Weinstein’s legal adviser, has said that Weinstein threatened to sue the New York Times for defamation, and has claimed that the allegations in the investigation are “patently false.Bloom announced on Twitter on Oct. 7 that she was resigning as Weinstein’s legal adviser, but did not give any explanation as to why.

The Weinstein Company announced Oct. 8 that it had fired Weinstein “in light of new information about misconduct by Harvey Weinstein that has emerged in the past few days,” according to a statement from the company. Though there has never been any public, formal investigations of Weinstein, reports have noted that rumors about Weinstein’s behavior were rampant in Hollywood.

Weinstein has had a role in creating and producing numerous films that have gone on to garner praise, including “Django Unchained,” “Pulp Fiction,” “Good Will Hunting” and “Shakespeare in Love.”

Meryl Streep and Judi Dench, actresses who have both worked with Weinstein in the past, have both made statements about the allegations. Streep released a statement to Huffington Post, saying that she did not know about Weinstein’s alleged actions. Streep commended the women who came forward saying, “The behavior is inexcusable, but the abuse of power familiar. Each brave voice that is raised, heard and credited by our watchdog media will ultimately change the game.

Dench released a statement with similar sentiments, saying that though Weinstein has helped her advance her career, she was unaware of his “offenses.” “I offer my sympathy to those who have suffered, and whole-hearted support to those who have spoken out,” Dench in her statement.

Despite the investigation, brand experts don’t think that this marks the end of Weinstein’s career, even after he had been fired. Rob Frankel, branding strategist and expert at Frankel and Anderson in California, told Fox Business in an interview that Weinstein is too well connected to be done in Hollywood.

“Sidelined for a time, but not done,” Frankel said. “He’s too connected to be done. Anyone with a hot screenplay will still do business with him because he can make the deal happen.”

Meaghan McElroy can be reached at mmcelroy@ithaca.edu or via Twitter: @meaghan_mcelroy