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Out of the growing fear that the Harvey Weinstein sex scandal is about to spin out of control, is about to bring down those (like Ben Affleck) who are not useless has-beens like Harvey, the bombshell news that The Weinstein Company board knew of Harvey’s payoffs to women is being downplayed, especially by the Hollywood trades. Nevertheless, it is still a bombshell.
[I]nterviews and internal company records show that the company has been grappling with Mr. Weinstein’s behavior for at least two years.
David Boies, a lawyer who represented Mr. Weinstein when his contract was up for renewal in 2015, said in an interview that the board and the company were made aware at the time of three or four confidential settlements with women.
Lance Maerov, the board member who handled the contract negotiations, acknowledged in an interview that he had been told of settlements, but said that he had assumed they were used to cover up consensual affairs.
It seemed impossible to believe that the board did not know of this, especially now that we are learning Harvey’s shocking behavior was considered by many to be an “open secret.” On top of that, The Weinstein Company’s co-chairman is Harvey’s own brother Bob. The two men have been business partners going back to 1979, when the duo formed Miramax.
Another reason these denials do not pass the smell test is that men like Harvey Weinstein do not make settlements out of their own pockets. Which brings me to the Walt Disney Company…
According to The New York Times, Weinstein settled with at least eight women, one involving actress Rose McGowan way back in 1997.
In 1997, Disney owned Miramax, which Harvey and Bob ran. If that settlement was made using corporate dollars, which seems even more likely given what we know now, how can Disney claim ignorance?
As Breitbart News reported Wednesday, the possible corporate liability for both Disney and The Weinstein Company is only diminished by the possibility of a public relations nightmare the likes of which Hollywood has never seen.
Which is why the wagons are being circled…
Which is why what is almost certainly happening right now is what happened over the last three decades. Only now, instead of Harvey Weinstein using carrot (advertising dollars, opportunities, access) and stick (advertising dollars, opportunities, access) to kill negative stories and investigative journalism, Disney and Warner Brothers (the studio behind Buttman’s upcoming blockbuster Justice League) are probably leaning on everyone.
The system never changes.
The system is the system and always will be the system.
Harvey was washed up, used up, an aging hasbeen. So the system settled its scores against Harvey, but only after he was of no use to them.
But Disney and Warners are still powerful, can still make you rich. So the system protects them just like it did Harvey when he was powerful and could make you rich.