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Weinstein forced out of own film company

by
October 09, 2017

Harvey Weinstein has been forced out of his film company over the ongoing sexual harassment scandal.

Harvey Weinstein has been forced out of the independent film company he co-founded, felled by a mushrooming sexual harassment scandal that has hobbled his status as a media mogul and left his future in Hollywood in jeopardy.

The Weinstein Company's board of directors has voted to remove Weinstein from the studio, leaving control of the company in the hands of Weinstein's brother, Bob Weinstein, and chief operating officer David Glasser, it was announced in a statement from the company on Sunday.

"In light of new information about misconduct by Harvey Weinstein that has emerged in the past few days, the directors of The Weinstein Company ... have informed Harvey Weinstein, that his employment with The Weinstein Company is terminated, effective immediately," the statement reads.

Weinstein has been rocked by a New York Times report documenting decades of sexual harassment allegations levelled by former employees and associates, as well as accusations of improper sexual advances from actress Ashley Judd.

The allegations extend back to Weinstein's days running Miramax, an independent film studio that was then owned by the Walt Disney Co.

It is a stunning fall from power for the mogul, whose tenacity and ruthlessness put him at the nexus of Hollywood, Wall Street, and the Beltway.

Weinstein did not agree to leave the company, and there is no financial settlement in place, according to an insider. Weinstein controls roughly 20 per cent of the company.

On Friday, the Weinstein Company board suspended Weinstein and said there would be an internal investigation into the allegations.

As the crisis worsened, Weinstein lost key allies. His attorney Lisa Bloom resigned on Saturday, as did his advisor Lanny Davis, a former White House hand to Bill Clinton.

One third of the all-male board quit on Friday, including billionaire investors Marc Lasry and Dirk Ziff, and Technicolor executive Tim Sarnoff.

New accusers have also come forward, including Lauren Sivan, a former Fox News reporter and a reporter at KTTV, who said Weinstein once masturbated in front of her after cornering her in a restaurant.

On Sunday, UK freelance writer Liza Campbell said Weinstein asked her to jump in a bath with him when she showed up to his hotel for a business meeting.

Bob Weinstein and Glasser had been pushing for Weinstein to leave the company, believing he threatened the studio's ability to continue to attract top talent and to release film and television shows.

Weinstein maintained that he could weather the crisis and re-emerge as a player in Hollywood.

However, he quickly found himself without support in the entertainment industry.

Prominent actors such as Seth Rogen, Lena Dunham, Brie Larson, and Judd Apatow have voiced support for Weinstein's accusers while condemning Weinstein.

Meanwhile, prominent Democrats such as Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, and Patrick Leahy have distanced themselves from Weinstein, channelling his political donations to charity.

Weinstein has been a major force in independent film for decades, helping bring art house movies such as Cinema Paradiso and The Crying Game to mass audiences, and propelling the likes of Pulp Fiction and Shakespeare in Love to commercial success and awards glory.

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