Fallout from the nauseating sexual harassment and misconduct allegations leveled against film and TV mogul Harvey Weinstein continues today, as Variety reports that Weinstein has taken an indefinite leave of absence from The Weinstein Co. His departure—which was originally announced yesterday—will be accompanied by an independent investigation into claims made in a damning New York Times story published yesterday. In a statement, the board of The Weinstein Co. says:
We strongly endorse Harvey Weinstein’s already-announced decision to take an indefinite leave of absence from the Company, commencing today. As Harvey has said, it is important for him to get professional help for the problems he has acknowledged. Next steps will depend on Harvey’s therapeutic progress, the outcome of the Board’s independent investigation, and Harvey’s own personal decisions.
Earlier today, Variety ran another story which said that the board of directors was weighing whether to terminate Weinstein, with the effort to remove him led by his brother and company co-founder Bob Weinstein and president and COO David Glasser, who say they are prepared to take over management of the company. That same story quotes anonymous sources within the company who say that Weinstein is blissfully ignorant of the dragging he is currently receivingon social media, because he “does not frequently use a computer.” (What else would you expect from a guy who thinks “I grew up in the ‘70s” is a good excuse for demanding assistants massage him in the nude?)
In general, Weinstein’s response to the charges only seems to have made things worse. Most recently, he picked up the phone and called Page Six, claiming that he’s planning to sue The New York Times not because he denies all of the allegations against him, but because the paper only gave him 24 hours to respond to the claims. (They also misquoted the number of women with whom he’s settled, he says.)
And despite Weinstein’s attempts to draw attention away from his alleged behavior and onto his liberal politics—”I am going to need a place to channel [my] anger, so I’ve decided to give the NRA my full attention,” he writes in his statement—Democrats are already distancing themselves from him. Cory Booker and Elizabeth Warren have declared their intention to donate campaign contributions from Weinstein to charity, as have Al Franken, Chuck Schumer, and Kirsten Gillibrand. Earlier today, Democratic National Committee communications director Xochitl Hinojosa called the allegations “deeply troubling.”