Weinstein Company Investor Tom Barrack Hopes to Return Studio to ‘Rightful Iconic Position’
The Weinstein Company has received financial support from an investor, Tom Barrack, who says he wants to help put the studio back on top after its co-founder was accused of sexual harassment and assault by over 40 women.
The studio announced on Monday that it is receiving financing from Colony Capital, the equity firm owned by Tom Barrack. In a statement, Barrack said that he wanted to “return the company to its rightful iconic position in the independent film and television industry,” according to CNN. Barrack is a friend of President Donald Trump’s and was a member of his Presidential Inaugural Committee; his name has also been floated as a potential candidate for White House chief of staff should Trump decided to replace John Kelly.
The Weinstein Company noted in its announcement that it is negotiating with Colony Capital for a potential sale. The Wall Street Journal had previously reported that the company was exploring a sale or a shutdown and that it was unlikely to continue as a private entity, although this is something Bob Weinstein denied.
“Our banks, partners and shareholders are fully supportive of our company, and it is untrue that the company or board is exploring a sale or shutdown of the company,” Bob Weinstein said on Friday.
The Weinstein Company will likely be changing its name sometime soon as it hopes to rebrand and distance itself from Harvey Weinstein. Recently, Weinstein Company President David Glasser told Deadline that the studio could not continue as it currently operates.
“My opinion is that The Weinstein Company as it sits today, is done,” Glasser said. “The reality is, in its current form, the name, the brand has been completely torpedoed and destroyed. I do feel there are probably other incarnations we have to look at…There might be some other version of this company that makes sense, and that’s what the board needs to review right now to figure out what the best options are.”
But it remains to be seen if this new, rebranded company will be too toxic to last even without the Weinstein name attached and whether actors will want to associate themselves with it. Projects that The Weinstein Company had planned are already beginning to die, with Amazon Studios cutting ties with the studio despite previously having plans to produce two series costing over $200 million.
Some stars who had deals with The Weinstein Company also want out, including Lin Manuel-Miranda. And The Current War, a Benedict Cumberbatch led drama that was set to be the Weinstein Company’s Oscar contender, has been delayed until next year, with Cumberbatch blasting Weinstein.
“I am utterly disgusted by the continuing revelations of Harvey Weinstein’s horrifying and unforgivable actions,” Cumberbatch said. “…We need to collectively stand up and support victims of abuse such as the brave and inspiring women who have spoken out against him and say we hear you and believe you.”