The fallout from the Harvey Weinstein sexual- harassment and assault allegations continued Monday, with The Weinstein Co. announcing talks to sell part or all of itself to a private equity firm, and the Producers Guild of America deciding whether to expel the disgraced film financier from its ranks.
Meanwhile, French President Emmanuel Macron said during a weekend interview that he has taken steps to strip Weinstein of the Legion of Honor medal he received in 2012, saying the producer’s “actions lack honor.”
Authorities in London have said they are conducting a criminal investigation into an assault complaint involving Weinstein, and New York police said they are conducting a review to determine if any action is warranted.
Los Angeles police have said they do not have an active investigation open into possible criminal activity by Weinstein.
“We absolutely encourage anyone who may be a victim of sexual assault to come forward and report a crime,” LAPD spokesman Josh Rubenstein told the Los Angeles Times Monday.
But amid the outrage, there was a bit of OK news for the firm: The Weinstein Company announced it has a preliminary agreement for Colony Capital to give it an immediate cash infusion.
“We believe that Colony’s investment and sponsorship will help stabilize the company’s current operations, as well as provide comfort to our critical distribution, production and talent partners around the world,” Weinstein Co. board member Tarak Ben Ammar said. “Colony’s successful experience and track record in media and entertainment will be invaluable to the company as we move forward.”
Colony Capital is the global private equity arm of real estate and investment management firm Colony NorthStar Inc.
In 2010, a group of investors led by Colony Capital and construction magnate Ronald Tutor acquired film and TV firm Miramax, which was founded by Harvey Weinstein and his brother, Bob Weinstein, from Walt Disney Co. The Weinsteins left Miramax in 2005, and it was bought by BeIN Media Group, a broadcaster based in Qatar, in 2016.
Thomas J. Barrack Jr., founder and executive chairman of Colony Capital, said the firm believes The Weinstein Company “has substantial value and growth potential.”
“We will help return the company to its rightful iconic position in the independent film and television industry,” he said.
The Weinstein Company last week announced the firing of Harvey Weinstein in light of sexual harassment allegations made by dozens of women, and rape accusations by three women quoted in a New Yorker article. Weinstein is believed to be in Arizona seeking sex-therapy treatment, saying he hopes to get help and get a second chance in Hollywood.
On Saturday, however, Weinstein became only the second person ever expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the organization behind the Oscars. The British Academy of Film and Television Arts suspended his membership last week.
The Producers Guild of America had been expected to discuss Weinstein’s membership on Saturday, but that discussion was postponed until Monday. There was no immediate word by midday on any action by the organization.
–City News Service