Media mogul Harvey Weinstein said he’s taking a leave from his company in the wake of a bombshell New York Times story detailing decades of alleged sexual abuses by the co-founder of Miramax and The Weinstein Co. A piece published today by the AP, written by Lindsey Bahr and Jake Coyle, ponders whether Weinstein’s leave might become permanent.
“Is this, like the accusations that felled Bill Cosby and Roger Ailes, the end for the sharp-elbowed independent film pioneer whose editing-room meddling earned him the nickname ‘Harvey Scissorhands’ and whose unprecedented run of Oscar glory made him a Hollywood deity?” the piece asks.
The report quotes Variety saying: “Harvey Weinstein’s career in Hollywood is likely over.”
But the AP analysis notes: “Others were less sure if this was indeed the downfall of Weinstein, who has weathered downturns and bankruptcy before. Weinstein was contrite in his statement, acknowledging ‘the way I’ve behaved with colleagues in the past has caused a lot of pain.’ He added: ‘I want a second chance in the community but I know I’ve got work to do to earn it.’”
The Weinstein Co. wasn’t commenting on the situation, but the AP notes that the company’s Board of Directors was expected to meet to discuss Weinstein’s future. “If Weinstein were to be ousted or step down, leadership could potentially be transferred to Weinstein’s brother Bob, who serves as co-chairman, and David Glasser, the president and chief operating officer,” the report notes.
The report quotes Sharon Waxman, founder and CEO of the trade website TheWrap and author of “Rebels on the Backlot,” saying of Weinstein: “If he can make amends, if he can apologize, then I think a lot of things are possible. Hollywood is not public office — you are not required to have a morality clause necessarily. It’s business. And ultimately he has to run his business, which has also survived near death experiences many, many times, and has also been sold for $600 million. I would say it’s up to him as to whether he survives in Hollywood.”
As we reported separately, Weinstein has “lawyered up,” including hiring attorney Lisa Bloom, who has built a reputation representing women on the opposite side of the legal issue — accusers in high-profile sexual harassment cases. Click here to read TVWeek Open Mic writer Chuck Ross’s thoughts on Bloom’s role in the Weinstein situation.