Japan’s Lexus Turns Its Back on Weinstein Company, ‘Project Runway’

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Lexus, the upmarket brand of Japanese car manufacturer Toyota, has cut its ties with The Weinstein Company. The move follows widespread accusations of sexual harassment, and even rape, conducted by co-founder and deposed TWC co-chief Harvey Weinstein.

The car company told Reuters that it “has chosen to terminate its agreements with The Weinstein Company that saw the luxury automaker working with the film studio on certain film and television projects.” The formal move follows reports last week that Toyota and Lexus were considering distancing themselves from the disgraced mogul.

Lexus had been a sponsor of TWC’s “Project Runway.” The 16th season is already filmed, but Lexus will not be involved in future series of the show, nor provide vehicles.

The two companies had also partnered on the Lexus Short Film series. Aspiring film makers were invited to compete to have their work produced by TWC. It is not currently clear whether the series will continue with a replacement partner.

Around the world, other allegations and reports of distasteful encounters with Weinstein continue to emerge in regional media. Singapore’s New Paper carried a first-person report with actress Caitanya Tan recalling her brief meeting with Weinstein on the red carpet at Hong Kong’s Asian Film Awards in March 2011.

After asking Tan whether she was an actress, Weinstein invited her to more private meeting in his hotel. “I have a couple of scripts with me, would you like to come to my room to read them?” she reports him as saying. “As he walked away, he asked me, ‘Do you know who I am? Do you know I can make you very famous?’” Tan said.

“I’m not a victim because nothing happened, but the reason I shared it is because I think it’s important to report and speak out about it,” she said.

Around Asia, where Miramax and The Weinstein Company, were more active until a decade ago, few women have dared to speak out. However, the #MeToo hashtag campaign has spread widely.