Embattled Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein was fired Sunday, said the board of the studio he co-founded.
“In light of new information about misconduct by Harvey Weinstein that has emerged in the past few days, the directors of The Weinstein Company — Robert Weinstein, Lance Maerov, Richard Koenigsberg and Tarak Ben Ammar — have determined, and have informed Harvey Weinstein, that his employment with The Weinstein Company is terminated, effective immediately.”
Weinstein, a powerful Hollywood producer, is accused of having sexually harassed women for decades. Several women, including actress Ashley Judd, came forward in an article published by The New York Times on Thursday.
Two sources familiar with the company told NBC News on Sunday that it was considering changing its name — a move that Bob Weinstein, Harvey’s brother, was said to be resisting. Harvey Weinstein’s immediate firing was in response to lurid reports that followed the initial Times story, one of the sources said.
On Friday, Weinstein — whose studio produced many acclaimed films, including “The King’s Speech” and “The Artist,” and whose TV division was behind Lifetime’s “Project Runway,” among other series — was placed on indefinite leave of absence after the company said it would investigate the long-rumored allegations.
About a third of the company’s all-male board resigned the same. One of the sources said they were friends of Weinstein’s and didn’t want to be involved in removing him.
On Saturday, a prominent women’s rights lawyer who was counseling Weinstein on the claims, Lisa Bloom, resigned as an adviser amid a torrent of criticism. Bloom’s mother, the powerful lawyer Gloria Allred, jeered her daughter, saying: “Had I been asked by Mr. Weinstein to represent him, I would have declined, because I do not represent individuals accused of sex harassment.”
In a series of statements, Weinstein veered between contrition and anger. On Thursday, he initially said he “appreciate[d]” how his past behavior had “caused a lot of pain, and I sincerely apologize for it.”
“Though I’m trying to do better, I know I have a long way to go,” he said.
Later, he threatened to sue The Times and offered another statement quoting Jay Z, bashing the National Rifle Association and outlining a $5 million scholarship fund for women directors.
“It will be named after my mom, and I won’t disappoint her,” he said.
Weinstein’s ouster is one of several recent sexual harassment scandals involving high-profile men in media and entertainment — a list that includes comedian Bill Cosby and Fox Chief Executive Roger Ailes and host Bill O’Reilly. All have disputed the claims.