Following the release of a New York Times report detailing nearly three decades of sexual harassment allegations against producer Harvey Weinstein, a women’s group is calling on The Weinstein Company board to fire its founder.
The Times report, published on Thursday, cites “dozens” of past and present employees who spoke out about being on the receiving end of inappropriate sexual behavior from Weinstein. The article also claims he reached settlements with at least eight women, including actress Rose McGowan.
Nita Chaudhary, co-founder of the women’s advocacy organization UltraViolet, issued a statement denouncing Weinstein on Thursday. “Harvey Weinstein’s decades of predatory behavior towards the women his company employed with zero consequences is a textbook example of rape culture in Hollywood,” the statement reads. “Weinstein’s attempts to justify his behavior are flat out insulting to all sexual harassment survivors, including the women who were forced to endure his abusive, creepy, and relentless advances.”
The organization also challenged the Weinstein Co. to adhere to its stance on sexual misconduct. “The board of the Weinstein Company must prove that it stands by its company’s sexual harassment policy, and that this policy applies to everyone, including its owners, by firing Harvey Weinstein immediately.”
Weinstein issued a lengthy apology earlier in the day and announced he would be taking a leave of absence from the Weinstein Co. In his statement, he said, “I came of age in the ’60s and ’70s, when all the rules about behavior and workplaces were different. That was the culture then. I have since learned it’s not an excuse, in the office — or out of it. To anyone.” An attorney for Weinstein is threatening to sue the New York Times for the bombshell report.