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October 13, 2017

Harvey Weinstein Will Challenge His Firing at Next Board Meeting, Because, Well, His Contract Did Say That Sexual Harassment Was Not a Firing Offense


As disclosed yesterday, The Weinstein Company's contract with Harvey Weinstein made sexual harassment a non-firable offense -- all Harvey Weinstein had to do was pay the company for any money damages his harassment caused them, plus an escalating penalty ($250,000 for the first offense, $500,000 for the second, $750,000 for the third, $1,000,000 for the fourth). So long as he paid the Weinstein Company its actual settlement costs plus some money to make them feel good about permitting sexual harassment, everything was cool.

To be fired, he'd have to be indicted or convicted of a crime. Which he hasn't been. So far.

But... in the aftermath of the rape claims, the company did fire him.

Which doesn't seem like they're allowed to do. Given that they wrote him a contract specifically allowing him to molest to his heart's content, so long as he didn't get arrested for it and kept paying off the company for the hassle.

So Weinstein might challenge his firing -- and he might actually be in the right, as far as that goes.

We're told Weinstein's position -- he did not violate his current contract, which he signed in October 2015. He maintains no sexual harassment complaints were lodged after he signed the contract. We're told TWC never gave Weinstein it's reason for the firing.

What's more, we're told Glaser will argue Weinstein could only be terminated after mediation and arbitration.

We're told the company's position is that it had a right to fire Weinstein immediately and he has a right to challenge the decision in mediation and arbitration.

That last part makes no sense to me, but who knows. This is a very special kind of contract.

Here's the thing, though: There may not be a Weinstein Company even in existence within a few weeks.

The company is likely to become bankrupt due to creative types refusing to work with them, and talent agencies barring their own roster of creatives from working with them.

Agents did not want to be on record, but reactions ranged from not wanting to risk the wrath of clients in the event of more fallout by putting them into TWC projects, and others said that if there was evidence of Weinstein benefiting directly or indirectly in projects, the agencies wanted no part of it. They felt even a re-branded company will carry a tarnish, and hoped that projects would be sold off.

Some writers are demanding that projects currently being developed by The Weinstein Company be released back to them, so they can take them somewhere that isn't associated with institutional molestation.

An employee of TWC reached by Deadline would not speak on the record, but described an office environment where already flagging morale has curdled into anger at Weinstein for acting without a thought to the consequences for the many troops charged with executing his vision. The growing consensus is that job security is tenuous at best.

...

A second chance seems highly unlikely, at least in any version of the company that has existed over the past 12 years. One high-level media executive likens the situation to "a run on the bank." The person expounded to Deadline, "Banks arenít going to continue to lend to them. You have agencies saying they will not allow talent to appear in their movies even if they re-brand. The equity is likely to get wiped out."

Bob and Harvey Weinstein together have a 42% stake in the company, so they'll get 42% of whatever assets remain in the company if it dissolves, but as far as a salaried job, I don't think the company is going to be providing salaried jobs for anyone for much longer, let alone the guy who blew it all up.

Update: Just reported: Weinstein Company facing either a sale or a shutdown.

The Weinstein Company is exploring a sale or shutdown as it reels from the fallout of allegations of serial sexual misconduct by its ousted co-chairman Harvey Weinstein, The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.

The film and television studio is unlikely to continue as an independent entity, the Journal said, citing a person close to the firm.


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posted by Ace at 04:14 PM

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