It is not easy to come forward and tell the world about inappropriate workplace behavior. But in the past few days, we have again seen the power of truth-telling and how it can quickly start the process of righting wrongs. Legendary film producer Harvey Weinstein was recently ousted as head of the famous Weinstein Company he co-founded amid damning reports of years of abuse and sexual harassment of employees and others.
After the New York Times published the exposé late last week, negative publicity, condemnations and more revelations of sexual harassment began to swirl around one of Hollywood’s most powerful figures. He quickly issued a statement that acknowledged that he had caused “a lot of pain,” but the apology was itself criticized as a rambling, self-serving non-apology.
Weinstein and his brother Bob have been instrumental in the release of critical and commercial successes such as Pulp Fiction, Shakespeare in Love, The King’s Speech and The English Patient, among others. But within days of publication of a news report detailing years of harassment, abuse and payoffs, Weinstein was fired by the board of Weinstein Company.
The Times’ article chronicled Weinstein’s troubling past at both the Weinstein Company and Miramax, the wildly successful independent film company he and his brother co-founded in the late 1970s and later sold to Disney.
Just a few days after publication of the article, the film mogul is unemployed and very possibly facing more allegations of workplace wrongdoing in the forms of harassment, retaliation and attempts to intimidate and silence women who wanted to tell their stories.
While it’s often difficult to come forward and speak out, it’s a process made easier with the help of an attorney experienced in sexual harassment litigation.