way too close reads

A Close Read of That Bonkers Harvey Weinstein Statement

Harvey Weinstein. Photo: Tim Boxer/Getty Images

On Wednesday afternoon, the New York Times published the “bombshell” Harvey Weinstein story that had been foreshadowed the day before: an account of multiple sexual-harassment allegations against the mogul, some dating back decades. In response to the news, Weinstein announced that he would be taking a leave of absence in order to deal with his behavior. This announcement came in a bizarre statement that must be read to be believed. Let’s break it down line by line:

I came of age in the ‘60s and ‘70s, when all the rules about behavior and workplaces were different. That was the culture then.

“This is my excuse.”

I have since learned it’s not an excuse – in the office or out of it. To anyone.

“But it’s not an excuse, even though I opened with it.”

I realized some time ago that I needed to be a better person and my interactions with the people I work with have changed.

“Don’t worry, I’ve known about the problem for a while, so there’s really nothing to worry about.”

I appreciate the way I’ve behaved with colleagues in the past has caused a lot of pain, and I sincerely apologize for it.

“It was bad and I’m very sorry, but please do note that this was in the past and I am different now.”

Though I’m trying to be better, I have a long way to go. This is my commitment. My journey now will be to learn about myself and conquer my demons.

“What’s most important right now is my journey to redemption.”

Over the last year I’ve asked Lisa Bloom to tutor me and she’s put together a team of people.

“My lawyer, whose book I am adapting, will lead me on this journey.”

I’ve brought on therapists and I plan to take a leave of absence from my company and to deal with this issue head on.

“I care so much about changing my behavior that I am taking a leave of absence now that it’s out in public – and not a second before.”

I so respect all women and regret what happened.

“This is a just thing that happened. Do I bear particular responsibility for the thing that happened, since I was, in fact, the one who did it? Maybe. Who’s to say?”

I hope that my actions speak louder than words and that one day we will all be able to earn their trust and sit down together with Lisa to learn more.

“A happy ending for this situation would be everyone liking me again.”

Jay Z wrote in “4:44,” “I’m not the man I thought I was and I better be that man for my children.” The same is true for me.

“Jay-Z was widely acclaimed for his introspective record about his own infidelity. I can get past decades of sexual-harassment allegations that same way. It is not necessary for me to correctly quote Jay-Z.”

I want a second chance in the community but I know I’ve got work to do to earn it. I have goals that are now priorities. Trust me, this isn’t an overnight process. I’ve been trying to do this for 10 years and this is a wake-up call. I cannot be more remorseful about the people I hurt and I plan to do right by all of them.

“I am so sorry about the thing I did that I am also suing the people who reported it for millions of dollars.”

I am going to need a place to channel that anger so I’ve decided that I am going to give the NRA my full attention. I hope Wayne LaPierre will enjoy his retirement party. I’m going to do it at the same place I had my bar mitzvah. I’m making a movie about our president, perhaps we can make it a joint retirement party.

“Don’t forget, I am a good liberal who shares your political views. Remember Las Vegas? That was bad, wasn’t it? Much worse than putting my female employees in uncomfortable sexual situations they had no recourse to stop. Or asking Ashley Judd if she wanted to watch me shower. And don’t get me started on the president. Trump, am I right?”

One year ago, I began organizing a $5 million foundation to give scholarships to women directors at USC. While this might seem coincidental, it’s been in the works for a year.

“From now on I will be using my vast wealth to help female filmmakers, instead of spending it on undisclosed legal settlements with women who subsequently sign NDAs.”

It will be named after my mom and I won’t disappoint her.

“Did I mention I have a mom?”

A Close Read of That Bonkers Harvey Weinstein Statement