Tag: harvey weinstein

NBC Responds to Allegations in Farrow’s ‘Catch and Kill’

Ronan Farrow’s Catch and Kill, a memoir about his investigative journalism, alleges that NBC may have tried to halt his investigation of Harvey Weinstein to protect Matt Lauer, former host of Today. Last week, the shocking details of the situation first came to light. After getting their hands on the book, NBC has responded to Farrow’s claims.

A memo sent out to NBC employees last week reads:

Now that we’ve read Farrow’s book, it’s clear — his smear rests on the allegation that NBC’s management knew about and took steps to hide Matt Lauer’s misconduct before his firing in November of 2017…Without that, he has no basis on which to rest his second conspiracy theory — that his Harvey Weinstein reporting was squashed to protect Lauer.

Noah Oppenheim, NBC News President, has adamantly disputed Farrow’s Claims. Via LA Times.

 

This story revolves around one woman that stepped forward before Lauer was fired: Brooke Nevils. Nevils filed a complaint against Lauer alleging he had raped her in a hotel room in Sochi, Russia during NBC’s coverage of the 2014 Olympics. Farrow’s book claims NBC executives knew about abusive patterns in Lauer’s behavior before it all came to a boil following Nevils’ complaint. Essentially, Farrow accused NBC of sweeping Lauer’s misconduct under the rug:

[NBC] brokered nondisclosure agreements with at least seven women who experienced alleged harassment or discrimination within the company. The agreements also alleged harassment or discrimination within the company … in most cases, the women received substantial payouts that parties involved in the transactions said were disproportionate to any conventional compensation for departing the company.

NBC has officially denied that they tried to cover up any of Lauer’s misconduct, pointing to the internal investigation they carried out in May of 2018 that found that no evidence of claims or settlements related to Lauer’s misconduct. NBC notes that the cases Farrow cites “involve employees who, by their own admission, made no formal complaint, and whose departures were completely routine.” Nondisclosure and non-disparagement agreements are commonplace in the television industry, but the circumstances surrounding these cases are not the best.

Image via People

 

It seems the crux of the issue is whether Harvey Weinstein actually did put pressure on NBC executives. If Weinstein did use his knowledge of Lauer’s misconduct as leverage to cover up his own crimes, then Farrow’s conspiracy is confirmed in a way, since NBC higher-ups must have known what was going on then.

For now, the circumstances surrounding Lauer’s departure and the authenticity of Farrow’s new book have been significantly muddied. Catch and Kill has been marketed as an exposé of the lies and conspiracy to protect predators in media. Though NBC questions the authenticity of Farrow’s journalism, readers will ultimately have to decide for themselves who to side with.

Featured image via Fox News

Ronan Farrow’s Book Alleges Matt Lauer Raped NBC Colleagues

Catch and Kill recounts Ronan Farrow’s investigation of Harvey Weinstein, NBC’s attempt to prevent him from publishing his findings in The New Yorker, and how Weinstein hired a private investigative firm to try to stop him. It also features a shocking interview with Brooke Nevils, the former NBC News employee who first brought the complaint against Matt Lauer that got him fired from “Today” in 2017. When the story first broke, the media kept Nevils anonymous to protect her. But with the publication of Farrow’s new book, the full details of the allegations have been uncovered.

 

Image via Amazon

 

We won’t go into too much detail here; you can read more about the exact details of the allegations here, here, and hereVariety was the first to break the story of these new allegations after receiving an advance copy of Catch and Kill. 

 

 

Suffice it to say Matt Lauer began a pattern of sexual assault and harassment that Nevils alleges began during the coverage of the 2014 Sochi Olympics. Nevils reports that Lauer forced himself upon her in a hotel room in Russia despite her protests.

 

Lauer at Sochi, via Getty Images

 

Lauer has denied the accusations, saying: “it is alleged that an extramarital, but consensual, sexual encounter I have previously admitted having, was in fact an assault.” Nevils has a different story. She claims she objected multiple times during the account before Lauer physically forced her against a door.

This Wednesday, hosts of the “Today” show Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb commented on the breaking story. Kotb said:

There are not allegations of an affair. There are allegations of a crime. And I think that’s shocking to all of us here who have sat with Matt for many, many years.

 

 

These new details cast doubt on the stance maintained by NBC that they had no knowledge of the claims against Lauer. Farrow uncovers seven other allegations and non-disclosure agreements, implying Lauer’s behavior was merely swept under the rug.

 

Harvey Weinstein, via Variety

 

Adding yet another wrinkle to an already complicated and tragic story, it appears Weinstein may have used the knowledge of Lauer’s misconduct as leverage to prevent the allegations against himself from becoming public. Farrow describes the situation, saying:

I’m very clear about the fact that Harvey was laying siege to NBC.

These latest details represent yet another grim chapter in the ongoing #MeToo debacle, and Farrows Catch and Kill joins the litany of other books published about the scandal.

 

 

Featured image via NBC News

‘She Said’ Sheds New Light on Weinstein Scandal

Jodi Kantor & Megan Twohey, the Pulitzer Prize-winning reporters who originally broke the Weinstein scandal, tell the story of how it all came to light in their new book She Said: Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement.

Now, Harvey Weinstein faces five felony charges connected to his patterns of sexual abuse, as well as various civil suits. But back when Kantor and Twohey began looking into some of the rumors about Weinstein, he was still an immensely powerful presence in Hollywood.

The book details how the reporters discovered numerous complaints about inappropriate behavior, under-the-table payoffs to keep people quiet about sexual advances, and patterns of threats and abuse of power.

 

 

In a review written for CNN, Melanie Schuman provides some info on what can expect to learn in Kantor & Twohey’s already best-selling account:

The book reveals that Bob Weinstein (Harvey’s brother) and Irwin Reiter (former vice president of accounting for The Weinstein Company) were both major sources for the investigation. Bob consented to multiple interviews for the book, as did Gwyneth Paltrow who Kantor and Twohey describe as a “dead-center source who might know more than anyone yet.” Although Paltrow was initially reluctant to go on record about Weinstein for fear of retribution, it seems she provided some valuable details on the kind of environment Weinstein created.

“It’s the H-bomb, the H-bomb is coming, they would warn before he approached,” Paltrow recounts, describing how employees at Miramax would live in fear of Weinstein.

 

image via Deadline

 

As they began their investigation, Kantor and Twohey reached out to former employees of Miramax and Weinstein. Zelda Perkins, one of Weinstein’s former assistants, spoke to the reporters:

“He was pathologically addicted to conquering women.” She wore parkas to his room for protection. “I always managed to say no,” she said. “On trips to Paris and Rome, ‘he would just hand out cash, which was your blood money,'” Perkins said. “You’d come home from trips with him with a weird comedown of guilt and relief that you’d survived.”

Perkins story is just one of many Kantor and Twohey describe in their new book. Rowena Chiu, another former assistant, talks about wearing two pairs of tights to a meeting for protection and still being harassed by Harvey.

 

 

Because of conversations with Bob Weinstein and Reiter, Kantor and Twohey reporters uncovered evidence of hush money payments and cover-up conducted by high-level executives. The book also recalls how Dean Baquet, New York Times executive editor, advised Kantor and Twohey that Weinstein might turn to “increasingly desperate practices,” to “assume you’re being followed,” and to “talk like every call is being taped.” And apparently as the publication date for the initial exposé drew closer, several of Weinstein’s lawyer tried to stall the investigation, asking for more and more time to respond.

 

Bob and Harvey Weinstein, Image via Vanity Fair

 

Kantor and Twohey’s stunning book describes their journey to bring the reprehensible behavior of one power-mad man to light. It’s definitely one of the most important and pertinent stories of the last few years, and to be able to hear about it from the reporters who first broke the story will no doubt be remarkable.

 

 

 

Featured Image Via Elle and Amazon

‘Tulip Fever’ Author Recalls “Nightmare” Experience of Movie Adaptation

Deborah Moggach, author of Tulip Fever, opened up to The Guardian  about the ‘nightmare’ experience she had regarding the adaptation of her novel, which starred Alicia Vikander and Christoph Waltz. Translating her beloved novel to the big screen was a horrible process and in many ways, was a cautionary tale of how NOT to adapt a book. Describing the experience as a ‘ghastly disaster’, Moggach, after flying to Hollywood to speak to producers about adapting the novel, jokingly offered her milkman, Ron, a role in the film. Though the comment was in jest, newspapers caught wind of this and spun it into “MILKMAN BEING OFFERED ROLE IN MOGGACH’S TULIP FEVER!” Soon, Moggach found herself dealing with both the press and a mountain of incoming screenwriters.

She recalled there was a continuous stream of screenwriters hoping to adapt her work, each one bumped off in favor of a new writer. In the process, she believes they lost track of what the book was supposed to be about. Moggach noted Harvey Weinstein interfered with the production constantly, which was shooting in 2014. It was first optioned in 2004 but was dropped after production delays. Weinstein kept fiddling with the cut of the film itself.  Moggach comments that he was a ‘bully’ and was never satisfied with the cut.

 

A woman in a period dress stands before a window with a rose
Image via Wikipedia

The film adaptation was finally released to negative reviews. It currently has a 10% on Rotten Tomatoes and an average rating of 4.4/10 on IMDB. It’s not hard to see why the author thought the film was particularly terrible and she admitted to watching the first screening with a glass of wine in hand, practically laughing at the decisions made by screenwriters while adapting the novel.

This film shows what happens when a good story gets into the wrong hands. What did you think of the film adaptation? Was it as terrible as everyone said? Is the book better? (In this author’s opinion, yes!)

 

 

 

Featured Image Via Rolling Stone 

Harvey Weinstein

New York Times Pulitzer Prize-Winning Weinstein Exposé Coming to Screens

It was the exposé  that shook both Hollywood and the world and society as we know it. Sexual misconduct allegations against Harvey Weinstein took the media by storm when they first were revealed in October of 2017. His exposure prompted an avalanche of sexual misconduct allegations to be made against other people in power, finally sending the pendulum swinging in favor of victims of Hollywood’s culture of harassment. 
 
 
Thanks to Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey of the New York Times and Ronan Farrow of the New Yorker, the movie mogul’s crimes were brought to the surface, and soon, will be brought to your TV screen.

 

Harvey Weinstein

 Image Via The New York Times

 
The three reporters worked continuously to contact victims and break past the walls that Hollywood put up. Now, after receiving a Pulitzer Prize for their research, their investigative articles are being picked up by Plan B, Brad Pitt’s company. Megan Ellison of Annapurna Pictures will also be backing the work that still remains untitled.

 

Brad Pitt

 Image Via Gossip Cop

 
According to The Guardian, the show won’t be focusing on Weinstein’s crimes and victims so much as it will focus on the tireless reporting and collection of information by each journalist. Think Oscar-winners like Spotlight and All the President’s Men.

 

Weinstein is still under investigation for his misconduct while one of his most prominent victims, Rose McGowan, has published an autobiography, Brave, and is still working for justice for victims. I’m not sure what to expect from this movie, but I’d say we’re all hungry for some justice and equality.

 

Featured Image Via Rolling Stone