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Harvey Weinstein has been ousted from his own company after a bombshell New York Times report detailed nearly three decades of inappropriate behavior toward women in Hollywood.
After The Times’ report, The New Yorker published an article in which three women accused Weinstein of rape. Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow also came forward and said Weinstein sexually harassed them in the past, detailing their experiences in The Times.
Weinstein, the film producer who founded Miramax Films and The Weinstein Company, built an empire from scratch out of Buffalo, New York.
A behemoth in the media industry, he became a major fundraiser for the Democratic Party, positioning himself as a liberal lion and champion of feminism.
But these ideals are in stark contrast with the reports that he harassed women for years, roiling public opinion and leading to his firing on Sunday.
Here’s a look at Weinstein’s career over the past 30 years.
Harvey Weinstein was born in the Flushing neighborhood of Queens in 1952 to Miriam and Max Weinstein.
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He and his brother, Bob Weinstein, “grew up in a small two-bedroom apartment in a lower-middle-class housing development called Elechester,” Bob wrote in Vanity Fair in 2003.
Both Harvey and Bob had a passion for the movie business that started when they were kids in Queens going to the movie theater to see foreign films.
Weinstein left Queens to attend college at the University of Buffalo. He stuck around in Buffalo to start a concert-promotion business called Harvey and Corky Productions.
He bought the Century Theater in downtown Buffalo and began showing movies when the theater wasn’t being used for concerts.
Bob Weinstein moved to Buffalo to join him.
Together, in 1979, they created the small independent film-distribution company Miramax, a portmanteau of their parent’s names.
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“Miramax virtually created the art house boom in the 1990s by turning offbeat and inexpensive movies like ‘Pulp Fiction’ and ‘Shakespeare in Love’ into mainstream hits,” The New York Times said in 2010.
Miramax began growing its successful business in the 1980s.
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The 1988 release of “The Thin Blue Line” raised its public recognition. The documentary focused on a man named Randall Adams who was a wrongfully convicted inmate sentenced to death. After the movie came out, the resulting coverage helped Adams secure his release.
In 1989, with the release of Steven Soderbergh’s “Sex, Lies, and Videotape,” Miramax became the most successful independent studio in America.
In 1993, Disney bought Miramax for about $60 million. The Weinsteins continued to run the company and cemented numerous successful launches.
“The first movie I green-lighted after Disney was ‘Pulp Fiction,” Harvey Weinstein told New York magazine. “I think that turned the corner on the business.”
Movies that came out of Miramax had substantial critical acclaim, including “Clerks,” “The English Patient,” “Good Will Hunting,” and “Shakespeare in Love.”
Weinstein also won Tony awards for plays and musicals, including “The Producers.”
Weinstein became known as the public face of Miramax. “Harvey tapped into his inner showman and became the voice these small jewels needed to win the recognition they deserved,” Bob Weinstein in Vanity Fair.
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Source: Vanity Fair
Harvey and Bob Weinstein began choosing and marketing their films separately — Harvey under the Miramax banner and Bob under Dimension Films.
Dimension contained the company’s more commercial movies, like the “Scream” series.
In 2005, the brothers announced they would leave Miramax to form a production company called The Weinstein Company.
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But money problems have followed the company since 2009.
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The Weinstein Company was in a financial crisis in 2009, but it “avoided bankruptcy with a painful debt and asset restructuring,” according to The New York Times.
In 2010, the Walt Disney Company agreed to sell Miramax to an investor group for $660 million. The Weinsteins had attempted to regain control of Miramax but were unsuccessful, The Times reported.
The Weinsteins have built storied careers in movies. They’ve received 341 Oscar nominations and won 81 Academy Awards while at Miramax and The Weinstein Company, <a href=”http://weinsteinco.com/about-us/”>according to the company’s site</a>.
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The Weinstein Company’s net worth is estimated at about $150 million, according to a 2015 report by Forbes.
But while Weinstein has accumulated successes, he has been accused of sexually harassing women and promising career advancements in return for sexual favors, The New York Times reported.
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The Times reported on Thursday that Weinstein had reached at least eight settlements with women over the years. Ashley Judd told the paper that while she was shooting “Kiss the Girls” in 1998, Weinstein tried to get her into his hotel for a meeting and force her to watch him shower.
“How do I get out of the room as fast as possible without alienating Harvey Weinstein?” she told The Times of what she recalled thinking.
Weinstein said in a statement to The Times: “I appreciate the way I’ve behaved with colleagues in the past has 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. That is my commitment. My journey now will be to learn about myself and conquer my demons.”
On Tuesday, The New Yorker published an article in which three women accused Weinstein of rape.
Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow also came forward and said Weinstein sexually harassed them in the past, detailing their stories to The Times.
After The Times published its report, and amid intense public scrutiny, The Weinstein Company’s board fired Harvey Weinstein on Sunday.
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