Harvey Weinstein, the disgraced entertainment mogul and Democratic donor reeling from unseemly allegations of sexual harassment and assault, tried to marshal support from Hollywood tycoons in a last-minute bid to save his job at the production company that bears his name.
Janice Min, co-president and chief creative officer of The Hollywood Reporter-Billboard Media Group, tweeted a picture of an email Weinstein circulated hours before he was ousted from The Weinstein Company, the production shop he co-founded in 2005. The email calls for entertainment industry magnates to write letters of support, and prevail upon the company’s board on Weinstein’s behalf.
“Do not let me be fired,” he wrote. “If the industry supports me, that is all I need.”
Min then tweeted that several recipients declined to back Weinstein including Ron Meyer, vice chairman of NBCUniversal, David Zaslav of Discovery Communications, and Jeffrey Katzenberg, the former chair of Walt Disney Studios.
The tactic is typical of Weinstein, according to those familiar with his preferred operating methods. Sharon Waxman, the former Washington Post and New York Times correspondent, claimed in a bombshell story for TheWrap that she reported extensively on Weinstein’s sexual predations as a Times reporter in 2004. The piece she prepared never ran, however, after industry notables intervened to spike the story. Waxman claims actors Russell Crowe and Matt Damon called her directly and waved her off the allegations she uncovered, while Weinstein made his own appeal to Times editors.
Miramax, the company for which Weinstein worked at the time, was a major Times advertiser during that period. A former NYT editor named in the story disputed Waxman’s characterization of events in an interview with Politico.
Weintein’s last-minute appeal to industry allies was unsuccessful, as he was terminated late 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 determined, and have informed Harvey Weinstein, that his employment with The Weinstein Company is terminated, effective immediately,” the company said in a statement.
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