During the watershed Harvey Weinstein saga that the media uncovered in recent weeks, we learned that Weinstein sexually harassed and abused many women throughout his career, and we also learned that he intentionally tried to ruin the careers of the women who rejected or reported him. Director Peter Jackson revealed that Weinstein went out of his way to blacklist and smear the names of Ashley Judd and Mira Sorvino when Jackson was casting Lord of the Rings with Weinstein.
In the late 1990s, Jackson pitched his ideas for the Lord of the Rings films to the then-Weinstein helmed studio, Miramax. The director contends that Weinstein explicitly told him NOT to work with Judd or Sorvino.
“I recall Miramax telling us they were a nightmare to work with and we should avoid them at all costs. This was probably in 1998,” Jackson told New Zealand publication, Stuff. “At the time, we had no reason to question what these guys were telling us — but in hindsight, I realize that this was very likely the Miramax smear campaign in full swing. I now suspect we were fed false information about both of these talented women — and as a direct result their names were removed from our casting list.”
Judd tweeted “I remember this well” in response to Jackson’s revelation, while Sorvino revealed that she never knew she was being actively blacklisted by Weinstein, but long suspected it.
In an excerpt from Ronan Farrow’s New Yorker article from October 10th, 2017, Sorvino revealed that she rejected Weinstein when he showed up at her apartment in the middle of the night and reported him to a female employee at Miramax. During that interview, Sorvino expressed her concern that perhaps Weinstein had purposefully stalled her career after she rejected and reported him.
Sorvino was able to confirm a long-held suspicion that Weinstein actively derailed her career, but Judd was already aware that Weinstein tried to blacklist her and has talked about it before. It’s a shame that it took a man’s corroboration of the facts for people to listen.