Harvey Weinstein, the award-winning film producer has been fired from his own company, The Weinstein Company. He is mostly known for producing a slew of critically-acclaimed films such as Pulp Fiction, Clerks, The Crying Game, Sex, Lies, and Videotape, Silver Linings Playbook, and Good Will Hunting, even winning an Academy Award for Shakespeare in Love. Weinstein has also dabbled in theater with projects such as The Producers, Billy Elliot the Musical, and August: Osage County.
The 65-year-old's fall from grace started when reports floated earlier this week that he has been legally battling and secretly settling sexual harassment allegations leveled by former employees and associates for decades. The controversy only got bigger when actress Ashley Judd came forward and revealed that she was also the subject of Weinstein's alleged improper sexual advances dating all the way back from the days when the exec was still running Miramax -- which is now owned by Disney.
Mere days after the allegations emerged, The Weinstein Company revealed in an official statement (via ABC) that the organization's board of directors have decided to fire Weinstein:
"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."
This leaves The Weinstein Company in the hands of Weinstein's brother, Bob, who is also the co-founder and co-chairmen with the help of chief operating officer David Glasser. Both Bob and David had reportedly been trying to push Weinstein out of the film studio as they are worried that his affiliation with the brand will have repercussions in terms of attracting talent, and getting projects off the ground. This resulted in Harvey being forced to take an indefinite leave before he was ultimately booting out of the company.
Weinstein's camp initially refuted the claims, even threatening the New York Times -- who broke the news --with a lawsuit. Weinstein's lawyer, Charles J. Harder, played down the allegations saying that "It relies on mostly hearsay accounts and a faulty report, apparently stolen from an employee personnel file, which has been debunked by nine different eyewitnesses," in a statement. The Oscar-winning executive himself believed that he could get through this controversy and reclaim his place not just in Hollywood but also in the political sphere -- being a great campaign financer to some politicians' campaigns.
Unfortunately, with several big stars openly condemning his supposed improper actions and voicing their support for the victims, The Weinstein Company had no other choice but to sack their own chairman.
Source: The Weinstein Company (via ABC)