Harvey Weinstein has been fired from his film studio, the Weinstein Co., in response to reports that he sexually harassed women for decades.
“In light of new information about misconduct by Harvey Weinstein that has emerged in the past few days, the directors of The Weinstein Co. — Robert Weinstein, Lance Maerov, Richard Koenigsberg and Tarak Ben Ammar — have determined, and have informed Harvey Weinstein, that his employment with The Weinstein Co. is terminated, effective immediately,” the company’s board said in a statement on Sunday night.
The New York Times reported on Thursday that Harvey Weinstein had reached at least eight settlements over nearly three decades with women who had accused him of sexual harassment and unwanted physical contact.
On Friday, Harvey Weinstein took an indefinite leave of absence, and a third of the company’s board resigned. It was unclear on Sunday night exactly what changed to make the board escalate its response.
In an interview, Maerov said it had been brought to the board’s attention on Sunday that Harvey Weinstein had violated the company’s code of conduct in the past week. But he would not specify what the violation was.
Maerov said Weinstein had been notified by email Sunday evening of his termination from the company he co-founded. The action was taken by the board’s four remaining members; a fifth member, Paul Tudor Jones, resigned on Saturday.
Among the allegations against Weinstein is one from the actress Ashley Judd, who recalled him summoning her to his hotel room two decades ago and asking her to give him a massage or watch him shower. Numerous women reported that he offered to help them with their careers in exchange for sexual activity.
“I appreciate the way I’ve behaved with colleagues in the past has caused a lot of pain, and I sincerely apologize for it,” Weinstein, a founder of Miramax, told The Times. However, he also threatened to sue for defamation, and his legal adviser Lisa Bloom said he “denies many of the accusations as patently false.” (On Saturday, Bloom resigned.)
For the past week, many women in Hollywood, frustrated with an industry that seems stuck perpetually sexualizing and mistreating women, had been watching closely to see where the Weinstein revelations would lead. “I see this as a tipping point,” said Jenni Konner, who co-produced, wrote and directed the HBO series “Girls.” “This is the moment we look back on and say, ‘That’s when it all started to change.’”
The firing of Weinstein by his own company, Konner said, “is going to scare any man in Hollywood using his power for anything but making movies and television.”
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