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Weinstein allegations swell as film industry faces scrutiny

China Daily | Updated: 2017-10-13 11:24

LOS ANGELES - The avalanche of assault accusations against Harvey Weinstein grew as more actresses came forward with explosive charges against the movie mogul, whose lurid behavior has opened a Pandora's box of Hollywood harassment and hypocrisy.

The new claims landed as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as well as the Cannes film festival organization declared the abusive behavior repugnant, but also as film figures warned that such actions have gone virtually unchecked in an industry that for years has seen itself in a progressive light.

The Weinstein revelations are just "the tip of the iceberg", comedy actor and director Rob Schneider told TMZ.

"There's not one actress who doesn't have a story," he said, adding that he himself experienced sexual harassment by a male director when he was younger.

Weinstein allegations swell as film industry faces scrutiny

Amid the gravity of the situation, the Academy, which has awarded 81 Oscars to Weinstein films produced by Miramax and then the Weinstein Company, announced it would convene a meeting on Saturday to "discuss the allegations against Weinstein and any actions warranted by the Academy".

Weinstein, 65, has denied all charges, according to a statement from his spokeswoman Sallie Hofmeister. On Wednesday, she offered "no comment" when asked about reports Weinstein was heading to Europe to enter a rehabilitation facility.

His company, The Weinstein Company, has insisted it knew nothing of the mogul's alleged misconduct. But The New York Times reported on Wednesday night that it was aware as far back as 2015 of settlements paid to three or four women. The Times quoted a lawyer, David Boies, who represented Weinstein when his contract was up for renewal in 2015.

The Times also said that last week Weinstein sent members of the company board an e-mail saying they knew about those payoffs. The paper quoted what it called people who spoke on condition of anonymity about the confidential communication.

The scandal has rocked Hollywood, with the list of the Oscar-winner's harassment victims reportedly now including Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie, Rosanna Arquette and Judith Godreche.

But a new angle to allegations emerged on Tuesday when three women, including an Italian film star, claimed that Weinstein raped them.

The Weinstein Company board has sacked him, and his wife Georgina Chapman told celebrity magazine People she was leaving Weinstein, with whom she has two children.

"I am profoundly devastated. I have lost my wife and kids, whom I love more than anything else," Weinstein told The New York Post, adding that: "I hope one day we can reconcile."

Agence France-presse

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