Things That Matter

Here’s What Lin-Manuel Miranda And Quiara Hudes Have To Say About ‘In The Heights’ Being Produced By The Weinstein Company

Hollywood mega-producer Harvey Weinstein was recently fired from his own company after multiple allegations of sexual assault were made public in reports by The New York Times and The New Yorker. The news first broke in early October when The New York Times published a story about the entertainment executive paying off sexual assault accusers for decades, including actor Rose McGowan, who says Weinstein raped her. Some of those who have come forward with their stories of being harassed and assaulted by Weinstein are Angelina Jolie, Ambra Battilana Gutierrez, and Ashley Judd. At least 30 women, including employees and actresses that worked with Weinstein, have come forward to tell their stories.

Although it was initially reported that Weinstein would fight The New York Times in court, a spokesperson said Weinstein “listened to the community and is pursuing a better path.”

The Weinstein Company executive board voted to remove the Hollywood mogul from his position, citing the sexual assault and harassment allegations. His wife, fashion designer Georgina Chapman has announced her separation from Weinstein following the allegations. It appears Weinstein’s actions will also impact The Weinstein Company’s upcoming projects and deals.

Quiara Hudes, a co-playwright of “In The Heights,” is asking The Weinstein Company to give up the rights to the movie version of the hit play.

“As a woman, I can no longer do business with The Weinstein Company. To those women who suffered directly at Harvey’s hands, I extend my sincerest compassion and support,” Hudes wrote on Twitter. “Unfortunately, my musical ‘In The Heights’ is tied up in the company. ‘In The Heights’ is part of my heart and soul. I created it about respect, community, and solidarity. I hope that The Weinstein Company has enough grace, in the wake of these revelations, to respect my stand as a woman and, and to allow us to extricate ‘In The Heights’ from them. ‘In The Heights deserves a fresh start in a studio where I’ll feel safe (as will my actors and collaborators).”

“In the Heights” is the story about a predominately Latino community in New York City as they learn what it really means to be home.

Lin-Manuel Miranda, the other co-playwright of the play, stood behind Hudes’ words and reiterated her point.

“Harvey Weinstein’s sexual predation is despicable enough, but combined with his staggering power it’s insidious, even devilish,” Hudes, who also wrote the book accompanying “In The Heights”, wrote. “Decades. He thrived on this. He built an empire on this.”

Ana Villafañe, who portrayed Gloria Estefan in “On Your Feet,” was quick to show her support for Hudes’ decision.

According to PlayBill, Universal Studios originally bought the rights to “In The Heights” but released the rights in 2011. When “Hamilton” started to gain popularity, The Weinstein Company scooped up the rights in May 2016.

The Weinstein Company has not released a response about relinquishing the rights to “In The Heights,” but the pressure is building. The accusations against Weinstein have prompted the Hollywood mogul to seek counseling and rehab for sex addiction.

Many women, however, are thanking Hudes for being a loud voice for the victims of sexual assault who are often left voiceless.

Though Weinstein is checking into rehab, he maintains that there was no inappropriate or non-consensual sexual contact. His publicist told the New Yorker Magazine that “any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied.” While he will not speak on anonymous allegations, Weinstein does believe that all of the allegations thus far were indeed consensual encounters and hopes that he will be given a second chance.

If you or someone you know needs help reporting or figuring out your next steps after a sexual assault, you can call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673.


READ: After Calling Trump Out On His Response To Puerto Rico, Lin-Manuel Miranda Is Doing His Part To Send Relief

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A Group Of Women Who Sued Harvey Weinstein For Misconduct Have Reached A Nearly $19 Million Settlement

Entertainment

A Group Of Women Who Sued Harvey Weinstein For Misconduct Have Reached A Nearly $19 Million Settlement

Spencer Platt / Getty

Disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein might be in prison but his legal woes continue.

The former film producer and convicted sex offender who founded the entertainment company Miramax and was toppled by allegations of sexual assault amid the early days of the #MeToo movement is still paying big time for his depraved acts of sexual assault and harassment. This week, Weinstein was successfully sued for sexual misconduct by a group of women and reached a nearly $19 million tentative settlement.

Late Tuesday evening, New York Attorney General Leticia James announced that the settlement, which is part of a class-action lawsuit against, meant the women would also be released from confidentiality and NDA agreements.

Speaking about the suit which was filed two years ago, Caitlin Dulaney one of the plaintiffs involved described the lead up to the decision as a “long and grueling battle.”

“Harvey avoided accountability for decades, and it was a powerful moment for us to band together and demand justice,” she said in a statement. “Knowing that we will help so many women who are long overdue for relief gives me hope that this settlement will continue to empower others to speak.”

If the lawsuit is approved by bankruptcy and US district courts, the settlement will give Weinstein victims between $7,500 and $750,000 each.

The suit also accuses Harvey Weinstein’s brother Robert Weinstein who co-founded the entertainment company Miramax with him as well as and other administrators of the Weinstein company of failing to prevent predatory sexual misconduct.

According to reports, the suit says Weinstein “created a hostile work environment by repeatedly and persistently sexually harassing female employees, including frequently remarking on female employees’ physical appearances, berating female employees, and requiring female employees to perform work while he was naked or only partially dressed.”

The suit also says Weinstein made employees help him with his erectile dysfunction injection. On top of this, women employees were also often forced to engage in sex to continue working for him or advance their careers. Some were even made to clean up for him after he had sex.

In 2017, The New York Times reported the first allegations of misconduct against Weinstein which ultimately helped spark the #MeToo movement. As a result, dozens upon dozens of women came forward to accuse Weinstein of rape and harassment.

The announcement comes three months after Weinstein was sentenced to 23 years in prison for raping Jessica Mann.

He was also charged with engaging in a criminal sexual act against Mimi Haley. Currently, he is being held in prison at the Wende Correctional Facility in Buffalo, New York.

Still, not everyone involved thinks the settlement is enough. Attorneys for six other women who have sued Weinstein for misconduct have called it a “complete sellout.” They also underlined that the settlement does not hold Weinstein accountable.

Speaking about the decision, Douglas Wigdor and Kevin Mintzer, two lawyers in a case against Weinstein said in a statement that they “are surprised that the Attorney General could somehow boast about a proposal that fails on so many different levels. While we do not begrudge any survivor who truly wants to participate in this deal, as we understand the proposed agreement, it is deeply unfair for many reasons. We are completely astounded that the Attorney General is taking a victory lap for this unfair and inequitable proposal, and on behalf of our clients, we will be vigorously objecting in court.”

‘Hamilton’: Disney Plus Drops Trailer For Musical Film — Watch Now!

Entertainment

‘Hamilton’: Disney Plus Drops Trailer For Musical Film — Watch Now!

Nicholas Hunt / Getty

Good news!

…Wait for it…

Those days of saving upwards of $849 for Hamilton tickets on Broadway are long behind you. The Broadway hit is coming straight to your screens courtesy of Disney +.

That’s right!

On Sunday, the streaming platform dropped the first official trailer for the Broadway rap-story about Alexander Hamilton and other historical figures. 

According to Variety, the production was filmed at New York City’s Richard Rodgers Theatre in 2016. From the trailer, it looks as if production perfectly captures the world of Broadway and the musical’s original stage production. You might remember that in 2016, the musical was nominated for 16 awards and eventually took home 11 awards, including Best Musical. That same year it received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

The theatrical production features Lin-Manuel Miranda as Hamilton, Daveed Diggs as Marquis de Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson, Renée Elise Goldsberry as Angelica Schuyler, Jonathan Groff as King George, and Christopher Jackson as George Washington.

The film was originally slated for a theatrical release in October of 2021.

The release was fortunately moved up to July 3 amid the coronavirus pandemic.

In a recent interview with Variety, Miranda said “What I’m most excited about [is] you all have that friend that is like, ‘I saw it with the original cast.’ We’re stealing that brag from everyone because you’re all going to see it with the original cast.”

Speaking about sharing Hamilton with audiences via the big screen, Miranda told Entertainment Tonight at the 2020 Oscars that he was “very proud of 2016 us, because we had the foresight to film the show with the original company before the principals started leaving, so we’ve got the snapshot,” Miranda shared. “I’m just really excited that we get to share it because we know how hard it is [to see it].”

Hamilton will be available to stream July, 3 on Disney+.