Harvey Weinstein and the board members of his former Hollywood studio agreed to a tentative settlement with victims connected to more than 80 claims of sexual misconduct. However, after the deal was announced in bankruptcy court, some of the plaintiffs involved in the negotiations publicly expressed their displeasure with the proposed settlement amounts, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Since the movie mogul was first accused of sexual misconduct, including rape, many actresses and colleagues who worked with Weinstein have come forward. High-profile women who made Weinstein a leading driver of the #MeToo movement include Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie, Cara Delevingne, Mira Sorvino, Rosanna Arquette and Lea Seydoux, among many others.
Sexual harassment claims as a means of pursuing justice
Weinstein has effectively been ousted from the movie industry due to the outpouring of accusations. For decades, he ranked among Hollywood’s most cutting-edge producers. The Weinstein Co. released iconic films such as “Pulp Fiction,” “Shakespeare in Love,” “The King’s Speech” and “The Artist.” When the media began reporting on the allegations, the A-list studio crumbled. The company remains in bankruptcy and faces a crippling landslide of debt and civil litigation.
According to reports, $30 million of the settlement is going into a pool for victims, creditors and former employees of the studio. The New York attorney general also filed a lawsuit against Weinstein for violating state laws regarding gender discrimination, sexual harassment, coercion and sexual misconduct. These were included in the $44 million tentative settlement.
Some victims have publicly stated that they are unhappy with the deal.
More to come
The criminal proceedings are ongoing. Weinstein has pleaded not guilty to all charges in New York, including rape. His criminal trial is currently set to begin on September 9. Civil proceedings are also likely to continue, as some victims have also said they will pursue individual settlements or a verdict in their favor, rather than participate in the tentative class settlement.
Regardless of the outcome of the criminal proceedings, some consolation can be found in the fact that Weinstein is no longer completely shielded from the consequences of his actions. In addition, this entire saga has demonstrated the power that victims can have when speaking out. That a movie mogul can no longer abuse his position of power is the direct result of victims who came forward to report and prevent his actions.