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.
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.
— Quiara A Hudes (@quiarahudes) October 12, 2017
“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.
As usual, Quiara does the prose best. She speaks for us both. https://t.co/7uEDe1DqJF
— Lin-Manuel Miranda (@Lin_Manuel) October 12, 2017
“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.
— Ana Villafañe (@aanavee) October 12, 2017
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.
Thank you for always being a voice for the voiceless. Te amo. 💖💖 pic.twitter.com/SsU0JrepyC
— Kimberley ♿💜 (@KimbaLeeAnn) October 12, 2017
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.
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