Harvey Weinstein was an American film producer, best known for creating Miramax with brother, Bob Weinstein.
On October 5, 2017, an article was published in The New York Times detailing decades of allegations of sexual harassment against Harvey Weinstein. Some of the first actresses come forward with allegations of rape and sexual misconduct, were Rose McGowan, Ashley Judd, Lena Dunham, and Brie Larson. Two days after the article was published, Weinstein’s lawyer, Lisa Bloom, resigned. Weinstein was immediately terminated from his companies and the investigation began.
Within a week, nearly twenty women came forward with personal stories of sexual harassment and Weinstein’s wife, Georgina Chapman, filed for divorce. Many people used Twitter as a platform to share their stories and publicly shame Weinstein. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, the organization that oversees the Oscars, expelled Weinstein from the organization and released a statement saying, “What’s at issue here is a deeply troubling problem that has no place in our society.”
Within a month, over fifty women had come forward. Weinstein’s chauffeur, Michael Chemloul, shared in a television interview that he drove around “tearful aspiring actresses” for Weinstein, and he’d often console them after their encounters with him. Many actresses shared stories that involved Weinstein approaching them in their hotel rooms during film production, exposing himself to them, asking for massages, forcing oral sex, and rape. The first account of sexual assault was in 1978, though it wasn’t shared until others came forward. Others claim to have been paid off for their silence or forced to sign non-disclosure agreements.
Weinstein is facing two counts of predatory sexual assault, one count of a criminal sexual act, and two counts of rape. Many allegations were too old to prosecute under the statute of limitations. Only two individual’s accounts will be used in trial to determine “predatory” status. Weinstein is pleading not guilty.
The ‘Me Too’ movement was founded in 2006, by Tarana Burke, to allow survivors of sexual violence to have a platform to share their stories. As stated on their website, “Our vision from the beginning was to address both the dearth in resources for survivors of sexual violence and to build a community of advocates, driven by survivors, who will be at the forefront of creating solutions to interrupt sexual violence in their communities.”
TIME’S UP was founded as a response to the allegation against Weinstein. It began on January 1, 2018, by Hollywood celebrities as a continuation of the #metoo movement, to highlight sexual harassment in the film industry. By the end of 2018, the movement raised over $22 million for legal defenses, and over 800 volunteer lawyers stepped forward to help. By the end of 2019, over 2,600 people from all industries were helped with their resources.
“By helping change culture, companies, and laws, we aim to create a society free of gender-based discrimination in the workplace and beyond. We want every person — across race, ethnicity, religion, sexuality, gender identity, and income level — to be safe on the job and have equal opportunity for economic success and security.
We insist upon a world where everyone is safe and respected at work. A world where women have an equal shot at success and security. A world where no one lives in fear of sexual harassment or assault.”