What's next for Weinstein
Harvey Weinstein will take a leave of absence from the Weinstein Company following a New York Times report alleging decades of sexual harassment claims against the Hollywood producer. Global media editor Matthew Garrahan and Companies editor Brooke Masters discuss what's next for the media mogul.
Filmed by Rod Fitzgerald. Produced by Daniel Garrahan
The media mogul Harvey Weinstein will take a leave of absence from the Weinstein Company. The move follows a New York Times report alleging decades of sexual harassment claims against the Hollywood producer. Our company's editor, Brooke Masters joins me now.
Hi, Brooke. What's going on here? This is yet another scandal.
We have a media company with a big charismatic boss embroiled in sexual harassment claims. This is months after something similar happened at Fox News, Rupert Murdoch's Fox News Channel. What's going on?
There have been a whole spate of these things, both in media and in tech, where we have found women coming forward and saying, I was harassed. I often, in many cases, I was paid money to go away. In Mr. Weinstein's case, the New York Times alleges that he's paid at least eight people.
Over decades. Earliest ones are early 1990s. Latest one is 2015. So this is not old and buried stuff. Similarly, the CEO of Social Finance recently had to step down after allegations again in The New York Times that he allegedly had some issues with touching people. And the company also faced a sexual harassment suit.
This is beyond media. This is to technology too. We have Uber, of course, as well. And claims there.
They are exactly. That they had a toxic environment where superiors felt comfortable harassing women. The whole mess that led to Travis Kalanick going started with a blog that said I complained of sexual harassment and no one cared.
So is this about women finding their voice? We always may have thought, particularly in media and in Hollywood of the casting couch. This is a thing of the past. That this was not an issue that women were grappling with. But clearly, not the case.
Actually, it's pretty clear that a lot of this stuff has just been going on the whole time, even though say, politically by the 1990s, it was really unacceptable to randomly harass women. It seems to have gone on in media and in technology, which is a heavily male environment, which has sort of has its own problems. It's happened.
Women now just seem far more comfortable coming forward. And I think every time a case happens, and there is a response, and somebody does quit, it empowers more people who to come forward. And so I don't know where this stops to be honest.
But across the corporate landscape. Media, tech, are we talking about with the city of London behind us-- this is something that happens around the world where powerful men are in charge of women. This is a common theme.
I think actually what's interesting about this-- I don't know about the city of London, but remember Wall Street had a whole slew of lawsuits in the '90s and early 2000s. And basically, you name the bank, they paid a settlement. And so I think it came out there. It sort of happens industry by industry. And but somehow it doesn't always spread.
So it'll be interesting to figure out whether this stays in media and tech, or whether there are industries that haven't been hit. This is also really interesting because Harvey Weinstein is a fascinating guy. And you certainly know him better than I do. What happens to this guy now?
Well, the guy is a charismatic individual, who, for decades, has been one of the most powerful people in Hollywood, won countless Oscars. Great hits like Shakespeare in Love and Pulp Fiction, The English Patient. And I kind of wonder if there's a way back for him now out of something like this. I mean, it wasn't for Roger Ailes. He was shown the door by Rupert Murdoch.
And Bill O'Reilly of course, is still trying.
Bill O'Reilly is out, but would like to come back. But I wonder if there is a way back for Harvey? I spoke to someone who has known him for a long time earlier on today who said he's finished. We already have actresses like Patricia Arquette who've worked with him, raising this on social media. I just wonder is it possible for someone to come back after a scandal of this magnitude?
His statement isn't a good start. He started out by saying, it's because I grew up in the '60s and '70s.
That doesn't cut any ice does it, these days?
No it really doesn't. '60s and '70s? Also, he's hired some woman to teach him not to allegedly take his clothes off in front of the young women. He has got to have to seriously reposition himself.
And it's particularly damaging to him I think, because he's a lefty. I mean he endowed a chair in the name of Gloria Steinem. I mean, last year I think it was. The level of alleged hypocrisy here is really high.
It is indeed. Brooke, that's all we have time for. Thank you very much.