Nearly 30 employees support letter clarifying what they were aware of
There have been questions over the past few weeks about whether employees at The Weinstein Company were aware of Harvey Weinstein’s alleged sexual abuse. Now, over two dozen Weinstein Company employees are saying that they had no idea.
A statement was released to The New Yorker on Thursday and backed by nearly 30 Weinstein Company employees, although it is anonymous. These employees say that although they knew that Harvey Weinstein was a bully, they did not know that he was allegedly raping and sexually harassing actresses.
“We all knew that we were working for a man with an infamous temper,” the letter reads. “We did not know we were working for a serial sexual predator. We knew that our boss could be manipulative. We did not know that he used his power to systematically assault and silence women. We had an idea that he was a womanizer who had extra-marital affairs. We did not know he was a violent aggressor and alleged rapist.”
The letter goes on to say, however, that for them to say that they are shocked and surprised would only make them “part of the problem.” Although Harvey Weinstein made an indelible impact on the entertainment industry, they now know that he is a “monster,” the letter says.
“He created a toxic ecosystem where his abuse could flourish unchecked for decades,” the statement concludes.
This letter comes from Weinstein Company employees who worked in the New York office, and the New Yorker piece also goes into detail about what it was like at that office on the day when The New York Times released its expose, detailing that Harvey Weinstein did not seem to understand the gravity of the situation and was remarking that he was glad the story came out on a day when no one reads the paper.
At another point in the article, an employee says that it was fairly well known that Harvey Weinstein was a womanizer and that he slept with actresses, but nobody knew that he was allegedly committing sexual assault.
Ever since the Harvey Weinstein allegations came to light, there has been a feeling that those within the Weinstein Company must have known what was going on, if not the average employees than at least the board members. Bob Weinstein, co-founder of the studio and brother of Harvey Weinstein, has maintained that he was not aware of the extent of his brother’s behavior, although he did say that he knew he was abusive in some way.
“The members of the board, including myself, did not know the extent of my brother’s actions,” Bob Weinstein told The Hollywood Reporter. “I know him on a personal level better than anyone. It’s hard to describe how I feel that he took out the emptiness inside of him in so many sick and depraved ways. It’s a sickness but not a sickness that is excusable. It’s a sickness that’s inexcusable. And I, as a brother, understood and was aware as a family member that my brother needed help and that something was wrong.”
As those in the entertainment industry have been discussing Harvey Weinstein over the past few weeks, most have agreed that it was well-known in Hollywood that Harvey Weinstein is a verbally abusive bully and that he was a bit of a philanderer, but most were not aware that the sex he was having was allegedly non-consensual. And even those who heard those rumors thought they were just that.
“We all hear these rumors,” producer Judd Apatow recently said. “‘Oh, he does this, he does that.’ But we didn’t see it. And so it’s hard to say, ‘Let’s go get him!’ Because we’re not a part of it. And it’s unfortunately up to the people that are truly aware of it…Someone was writing those checks. Somebody knew. And those people on the inside, when they’re quiet also, it goes on for decades.”