Weinstein Co. staffers pen open letter about 'serial sexual predator' Harvey Weinstein

Women go public with Weinstein allegations
Women go public with Weinstein allegations

No, not "everyone" knew about the extent of Harvey Weinstein's misconduct.

That's what the staff of his former movie and TV studio, The Weinstein Company, wants people to know.

In an open letter on Thursday, about 30 anonymous staffers said "we all knew that we were working for a man with an infamous temper," but "we did not know we were working for a serial sexual predator."

Weinstein stands accused of rape, sexual assault and sexual harassment. The allegations of harassment were first made in a New York Times story that came out two weeks ago. An investigation by The New Yorker and follow-up stories by other outlets exposed further allegations of wrongdoing. Through a spokeswoman, Weinstein has "unequivocally denied" all allegations of non-consensual sex.

The letter was, in part, a rebuttal to the frequent assertions that "everybody" in Hollywood knew about Weinstein's harassment of women. The New York Times and New Yorker investigations described how some staffers at the studio had knowledge of wrongdoing.

But the company employs almost 200 people, and some of them say they were in the dark.

"We knew that our boss could be manipulative," Thursday's letter said. "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."

Related: Can the company Harvey Weinstein founded survive his scandal?

Weinstein was fired from the studio days after the New York Times story was published. On Tuesday, he resigned from the company's board of directors as well. The company remains in limbo and the staff remains in the dark. The board is believed to be negotiating with the private equity firm Colony Capital and other potential buyers.

"If there is a future for this company, it must be one of radical transparency and accountability. And for that to happen, anyone who had specific knowledge of non-consensual, predatory behavior must go," the anonymous staffers wrote. "That is the only way anyone will feel comfortable working with us. It is the only way any of us will feel comfortable working here."

The letter was published anonymously because, according to the staffers, they are all subject to non-disclosure agreements in their contracts.

"But our former boss is in open violation of his contract with us -- the employees -- to create a safe place for us to work," they wrote. So they want the company to lift the non-disclosure agreements, or NDAs, and allow them to speak openly.

"We have nothing to hide, and are as angry and baffled as you are at how Harvey's behavior could continue for so long," they wrote.

Work at the company's offices in New York and Los Angeles has mostly ground to a halt in the wake of the scandal. Staffers began working on an open letter last week.

They say Weinstein "created a toxic ecosystem where his abuse could flourish unchecked for decades."

They also call out the board of directors, which includes Harvey's brother Bob Weinstein, who is now running the company.

"If the board's job was to keep Harvey in check, financially and otherwise, they failed," the letter said.

A spokesman for Bob Weinstein had no immediate comment about the letter.


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