Background

IN THE MEDIA: A “forgotten man”

Photo by Michelle Ding on Unsplash

The trial against former Hollywood producer and alleged sexual criminal Harvey Weinstein begins in January 2020. Now, he has made his first public statement in a long time – though it hasn’t done him any favors. We recall the reports and the book that set the trial in motion.

Photo: Michelle Ding on Unsplash

Former movie producer Harvey Weinstein, accused of sexual offenses and due to go on trial on January 6 in New York, perceives himself as a pioneer in the promotion of women in Hollywood. On December 16, Weinstein told the New York Post that he produced more films by women and about women than any other producer, moaning that his work had “been forgotten.” In the interview, Weinstein – who pleaded not guilty but could face a life sentence if convicted – still doesn’t seem to have fully grasped the serious allegations against him.

Just hours after his comments, 23 women who accused Weinstein of sexual assault reacted by releasing a hard-hitting statement: “Harvey Weinstein is trying to gaslight society again. He says in a new interview he doesn’t want to be forgotten. Well, he won’t be. He will be remembered as a sexual predator and an unrepentant abuser who took everything and deserves nothing.”

One of these women is Emily Nestor, who told her story about her time as a front-desk attendant at Miramax, Weinstein’s film company, to investigative journalist Ronan Farrow. He reports that Weinstein invited Nestor for drinks, offered to “help her career”, suggested she become his girlfriend and bragged that he didn’t drug women as Bill Cosby did. He tried to make her come to his hotel room, and he pursued her aggressively at work. But not enough: Miramax human resource officers warned Nestor that HR would disclose her complaints to Weinstein. Farrow explains that this policy, among others, kept Weinstein’s in-house victims from filing formal complaints.

getAbstract recommends its review of the important document that set the whole trial in motion only months ago: Ronan Farrow’s Catch and Kill. His revelations, including horrifying narratives of harassment, are disturbing, as is the cowardice or collusion of news agencies. In his book, Farrow details how Weinstein used economic and political power to sabotage women and reporters. When NBC wouldn’t pursue the story, The New Yorker demonstrated the courage to publish it, eventually winning Farrow a Pulitzer Prize.


Next Steps
Check out our summaries of “Tales from the Boom-Boom Room” by Susan Antilla, of Gretchen Carlson’s “Be Fierce” as well as of her TED talk on “How We Can End Sexual Harassment at Work.”

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