The Weinstein Company is preparing to suspend Harvey Weinstein in the wake of decades of sexual-harassment allegations against the mogul coming to light Thursday, Variety reports. An official announcement is expected to come Friday evening. The studio head has taken a voluntary leave of absence but is reportedly resisting calls for him to step down entirely, supposedly confident that the scandal will blow over. Per THR, a Thursday night board meeting devolved into “a scream-filled session of infighting among members.” According to Variety, the company’s board is also considering taking the next step: firing him for cause. Earlier on Friday, a producer who has worked with Weinstein told Vulture that TWC’s chief operating officer and president David Glasser “has been angling to run that company for a long time.” The Wrap also reports TWC board member Dirk Ziff has resigned in the wake of the allegations.
Update: The Weinstein Company released a statement Friday confirming the producer’s “indefinite leave of absence.” Per their release, “next steps will depend on Harvey’s therapeutic progress, the outcome of the Board’s independent investigation, and Harvey’s own personal decisions.” The statement appears in full below:
The undersigned members of the Weinstein Company’s Board of Representatives, constituting a majority of the Board, make the following statement.
We take extremely seriously the accusations published in today’s New York Times about our Company’s co-chairman Harvey Weinstein. It is essential to our Company’s culture that all women who work for it or have any dealings with it or any of our executives are treated with respect and have no experience of harassment or discrimination.
We believe it is important to learn the full truth regarding the article’s very serious accusations, in the interests of the Company, its shareholders and its employees. To that end, we have retained an independent and leading lawyer and firm, John Kiernan of Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, to undertake a thorough and independent investigation and report to the full Board on the results of that investigation. Working with Mr. Kiernan will be his partners Matthew Fishbein, former Chief Assistant United States Attorney for both the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, and Helen Cantwell, former prosecutor in the Southern District of New York and the New York County District Attorney’s Sex Crimes Unit, who have extensive experience in these kinds of investigations. The investigating lawyers will be reporting to a special committee of the board composed exclusively of independent directors
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.
In the meantime, the Company is under the leadership of its Co-Chairman, Bob Weinstein, and its Chief Operating Officer, David Glasser, who plan to proceed with business in the ordinary course.
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