Select members of the Weinstein Company just broke their non-disclosure agreement to issue a statement on Harvey Weinstein
Select members of the Weinstein Company staff have released a statement in response to the many devastating and horrific allegations of sexual harassment and assault made against producer Harvey Weinstein.
The statement was first posted by The New Yorker, which recently published accounts from Harvey Weinstein’s accusers — shortly after The New York Times published its own piece about allegations against the producer.
In the statement, the staff claim that they did not know Harvey Weinstein, who has since been fired from the company, was a serial sexual predator.
"We knew that our boss could be manipulative," the statement reads. "We did not know that he used his power to systematically assault and silence women. We had an idea that he was a womanizer who had extra-marital affairs. We did not know he was a violent aggressor and alleged rapist."
But, they admit, that makes them part of the problem, that the traits that they valued Weinstein for in his filmmaking — like, his ambition and desire to win — are also what “made him a monster.”
The statement goes on to acknowledge that addressing the allegations publicly puts the participating staff members in violation of their non-disclosure agreements.
"We know that in writing this we are in open breach of the non-disclosure agreements in our contracts. But our former boss is in open violation of his contract with us — the employees — to create a safe place for us to work."
It also asks that they be freed of their NDAs so they can, without punishment, continue to address these serious issues.
"We have nothing to hide, and are as angry and baffled as you are at how Harvey’s behavior could continue for so long. We ask that the company let us out of our NDAs immediately — and do the same for all former Weinstein Company employees — so we may speak openly, and get to the origins of what happened here, and how."
Moreover, the statement expresses its solidarity with the women who have spoken out, and thanks them for doing so.
"We unequivocally support all the women who have come forward, many of whom we count among our own friends and colleagues. Thank you for speaking out. When The New York Times and The New Yorker articles broke, we wept. We see you, we admire you, and we are in this fight alongside you."
It also calls into question the broader “threatening, hostile, inhumane work environments” that are widely prevalent in the industry, and addresses the potential future of the Weinstein Company.
"So now that Harvey is gone, what next? If there is a future for this company, it must be one of radical transparency and accountability. And for that to happen, anyone who had specific knowledge of non-consensual, predatory behavior must go. That is the only way anyone will feel comfortable working with us. It is the only way any of us will feel comfortable working here."
And it ends by saying we must listen to these stories, no matter how hard they are to hear. “But after that we must start to ask hard questions of our industry, so we may do right not only by Harvey’s many victims, but also by young film lovers who, like all of us, just want to work in movies.”
To read the statement in full, head to The New Yorker. Our thoughts are with all those affected.