What Matters in Hollywood Today

7:35 AM 10/16/2017

by THR Staff

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What’s news: A weekend’s worth of additional Harvey Weinstein fallout, including the producer’s boot from the Academy and brother Bob’s emotional revelations about the saga. Plus: Black Panther drops new trailer, Happy Death Day seizes the box office, and Amazon reels from its own scandal. — Ray Rahman
 
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  • Weinstein's Hard Fall

    With every scandal, there comes a point when the story shifts from "What happened?" to "What happens next?" The Harvey Weinstein scandal is somewhere in between. As the industry takes a long look at the mirror and tells anyone who will listen that it will do better, more and more details about Weinstein's long reign of terror — and Hollywood's role in the matter — continued to surface throughout the weekend. 

    One person eager to look ahead? Bob Weinstein, brother of Harvey and, now, the new face of The Weinstein Company. But, of course, he still has to reckon with the past and his "depraved" brother. From his emotional interview with Matthew Belloni:

    On what he knew: “Let me tell you something that people don't know. For the last five years, I've probably talked to my brother 10 times on any personal level. That's the fracture that's gone on. … I actually was quite aware that Harvey was philandering with every woman he could meet. I was sick and disgusted by his actions. … But as far as being in a room and hearing the description in The New York Times? No way. No F-in' way was I aware that that was the type of predator that he was. ... I thought they were all consensual situations."

    On Harvey: “My brother has caused unconscionable suffering. As a father of three girls, I say this with every bone in my body — I am heartbroken for the women that he has harmed. … It’s hard to describe how I feel that he took out the emptiness inside of him in so many sick and depraved ways. It's a sickness but not a sickness that is excusable. ”

    On what the company knew: "Harvey was a bully, Harvey was arrogant, he treated people like shit all the time. That I knew. And I had to clean up for so many of his employee messes. People that came in crying to my office: ‘Your brother said this, that and the other.’ And I'd feel sick about it." 

    On his sense of responsibility: “I had to divorce myself [from Harvey] to survive. Nobody is perfect. I'm not perfect. If I made mistakes, I apologize to everyone for not standing up stronger and sooner. ... And I'll apologize for my own lack of strength at times.”

    On Harvey’s response: “I don't hear concern or contrition for the victims. And I want them to hear that. Harvey has no remorse whatsoever. I have spoken to him two times [since news broke], hoping to hear, ‘Oh, my God, what have I done?’ I didn't hear that."

    On Harvey’s future: “He lived for this business and he lived for the outside [persona]. There were no insides to this, as far as I can see. So unless there becomes an inner person inside there, I have no idea what he'll do.” 

    One sticking point: When asked why he (and, by extension, the company) didn’t hold his brother accountable for what was known about Harvey’s behavior towards employees, Bob doesn’t offers an iffy answer: "Because it didn't rise to a certain level. I would often counsel people and say, ‘You know what, you have a choice here. Leave. Leave, please leave.’ I don't know why some of them stayed. So I would just try to mend a broken fence." In effect, he's saying it was up to the apparently numerous TWC employees who spoke out about Harvey to leave their jobs, rather than the organization they work for protect them from an abusive boss. Full Q&A.

    Meanwhile...

    THE COMPANY Today, Weinstein Co. announced new investment from Trump friend Tom Barrack's Colony Capital, providing an immediate capital infusion. The move could help stabilize TWC operations.

    THE NYPD The New York Times published a comprehensive outline of the NYPD's attempted 2015 takedown of Weinstein, his dirty retaliation tactics, and the fallout that ensued. Included is the riveting story behind the audio tape published by The New Yorker last week, including undercover detectives posing as TMZ reporters at the Tribeca Grand.  

    + The London police is now investigating three more sexual assault allegations against Weinstein.

    THE ACADEMY The 54-member board of the Academy stripped Weinstein of his lifetime membership from the Oscars organization, an unprecedented move for the group that speaks to the scrutiny the industry has found itself under. Now the Academy must decide how it should deal (if at all) with other problematic high-profile members, such as Woody Allen, Roman Polanski, and Bill Cosby.

    + John Oliver has strong thoughts on the issue.

    + The Producers Guild of America discusses whether it should follow suit at a board meeting today.

    + Similarly, French president Emmanuel Macron said he had "started the procedures" to rescind Weinstein's prestigious Legion of Honor award. It's a rare move, but it has happened before — just ask Lance Armstrong. 

    MORE VICTIMS Several more women came out with new allegations against the disgraced mogul: Angie Everhart says he pleasured himself in front of her; Natalie Mendoza accuses him of groping her; and former intern Paula Wachowiak recalls Weinstein exposing himself to her in 1980.

    + On social media, Alyssa Milano launched the "me too" hashtag, inviting all women to come out with their own stories of sexual assault and harassment. Debra Messing and Anna Paquin were among the celebrities who responded; by Sunday night, #MeToo had become the top nationwide trend on Twitter. 

    + And plenty of stars are still speaking out to condemn Weinstein. J.J. Abrams called him "a monster." Joining him: Emmy Rossum, Ruth Wilson, Anna Wintour, Emma Thompson, Minka KellyFelicity Huffman, and Michael Moore.

    FUMBLED RESPONSES Others found themselves struggling with their responses. Last night during Sunday Night Football, NBC Sports announcer Al Michaels threw in an unexpected Weinstein joke in the middle of the Giants-Broncos game; he apologized later during the broadcast. Woody Allen was also forced to clarify his first statement; Donna Karan did the same; and James Corden apologized for insensitive remarks he made at Friday's amfAR gala in Los Angeles. 

    + Elsewhere, SNL finally addressed the controversy after skipping it entirely two weekends ago. 

    TEAM HARVEY Weinstein's legal team lost another high-profile attorney: Charles Harder left the fallen producer, suggesting that the threatened defamation lawsuit against the New York Times may never happen.

    Elsewhere in film...

    ^Black Panther drops new trailer. Check out the Marvel film's latest preview

    ► Box office: Happy Death Day easily trounced Blade Runner 2049, winning the weekend with a strong $26.5M opening — more than five times its production budget. Full report.

    + Pamela McClintock writes: Horror flicks are terrifying studios, which are increasingly moving the release of high-profile films to get out of the way of low-budget scary movies. Full story

    Fandango to acquire MovieTickets.com. The two competitors, launched in the early days of the internet, join forces.

    ► Jay Roach to direct Kent State shooting drama. The helmer takes on 67 Steps, which counts Tina Fey as a producer.

    Mike Epps, Katt Williams team for horror comedy The House Next Door. The duo will co-star in the film sequel to 2016's Meet the Blacks.

    Helen Mirren to receive Lincoln Center honor. The Film Society of Lincoln Center will present the actress with the 45th annual Caplin Award at a gala on April 30.

    Ai Weiwei talks intolerance and activism. The leading Chinese artist leads a global perspective on the refugee crisis in his elegant new documentary. Q&A.

  • Amazon Addresses Roy Price

    Getty Images

    A day after Amazon Studios suspended its top exec, Roy Price, over a sexual harassment claim, the company's vp business development Jeff Blackburn issued a memo to employees addressing harassment, Lesley Goldberg writes: 

    "The news coming out of Hollywood over the past week has been shocking and disturbing — and unfortunately we are a part of it. It’s sad and very disappointing to me," reads Blackburn's memo. "Amazon does not tolerate harassment or abuse of our employees or our business partners. If a concern is brought to our attention, we investigate it quickly and thoroughly."

    The move to suspend Price came hours after Isa Hackett, a producer on Amazon's The Man in the High Castle and Philip K. Dick's Electric Dreams, detailed in an interview with THR her "shocking and surreal" experience with the programming chief in July 2015. "You will love my dick," Price said, according to Hackett, who relayed her account to others. The producer says she reported the incident immediately to Amazon executives.

    An outside investigator, Public Interest Investigations Inc.'s Christine Farrell, was brought in to speak to Hackett as well as Amazon execs. Hackett says she was never told the outcome of that inquiry, but notes that she hasn’t seen Price at any events involving her shows. Full story.

    Elsewhere in TV...

    Liv Tyler joins Hulu's Harlots. The actress will be a series regular in season two of the period drama.

    Bill O'Reilly is filming his new digital TV show at Newsmax's studio. The former Fox News anchor is using the conservative channel's New York office to tape No Spin News.

    Peter Dinklage, Charles Dance produce Quasimodo series. The Game of Thrones pair join a new Hunchback of Notre Dame adaptation as executive producers. The series is one of the first drama pitches to come out of Atrium TV, a new international streaming platform association. 

    Fear the Walking Dead: Outgoing showrunner discusses season 3 finale. Dave Erickson offers a glimpse into what might have been as the co-creator leaves the series behind. Q&A.

    ^NBC cancels The Night Shift. The summer-programming medical drama comes to an end after four seasons.

    Vice to launch African network. The company has signed a joint venture deal with Econet Media to launch Kwese Vice, intended to distribute programming for sub-Saharan Africa. 

    Samantha Bee on late-night's Harvey Weinstein handling. She and other late-night figures weighed in on criticism at Paleyfest. 

    Rep Sheet Roundup: Country star and actor Trace Adkins has left CAA for UTA. … Former Super Bowl champ turned NFL Network host LaMarr Woodley has signed with ICM Partners, as has actor and CollegeHumor director Josh Ruben. … Bethenny Frankel has signed with Jill Fritzo PR. … Swiss-Spanish actor Carlos Leal has signed with APA. More.

  • Best TV You've Never Seen?

    Dusan Martincek

    Netflix and Amazon may grab all the headlines, but when it comes to original content in Eurpoe, HBO has been quietly carving out its own niche for years — and now it's looking to expand, Scott Roxborough writes:

    Before Narcos, before The Crown, before Netflix CEO Reed Hastings ever thought of making series outside the U.S., there was another big American broadcaster already out there, digging deep in high-end TV. For the past seven years, quietly and almost unnoticed outside the industry, HBO Europe has been turning out ambitious, award-winning and, yes, game-changing drama in countries many American HBO subscribers would struggle to locate on a map.

    They've included Czech political drama Burning Bush, set during the anti-Soviet uprising of 1969; Hungary's Golden Life, a sort of reverse Breaking Bad involving a veteran criminal trying to go straight; Polish police thriller The Pack; and Umbre, an acclaimed gangster drama from Romania with a charming, yet thuggish central character — a taxi driver who collects money for the mob on the side — that would give Tony Soprano a run for his money. Full story.

    What else we're reading...

    How failure made Halt and Catch Fire great. James Poniewozik writes: "Not until I watched Saturday's series finale did I figure out what the show was about." [The New York Times]

    — Noah Baumbach on his painful writing process. Nicole Sperling writes: "The director of The Squid and the Whale discusses his latest film, which places Dustin Hoffman as the patriarch of a family in progress. [Vanity Fair]

    — The man who forgot he was a rap legend. Joshuah Bearman writes: "T La Rock was one of the pioneers of hip-hop, an old-school legend sampled by Public Enemy and Nas. But after a brutal attack put him in a nursing home, he had to fight to recover his identity, starting with the fact that he’d ever been a rapper at all." [GQ]

    — Why John Carpenter wants to play scary music, just for you, on Halloween. Tim Greiving writes: "In the last few years he’s taken his love for music into the recording studio — and on the road." [Los Angeles Times]

    What's ahead this week...

    Monday: Vh1 premieres Martha & Snoops Potluck Dinner Party's second season.

    Tuesday: Wonderstruck premieres in Los Angeles. 

    Wednesday: IWMF Courage in Journalism Awards takes place in New York.

    Thursday: A&E premieres The Eleven.

    Friday: Only the Brave, The Snowman, and Geostorm hit theaters in wide release. GLESN Respect Awards are held in Los Angeles.

    Today's birthdays: Paul Sparks, 46, Kenneth Lonergan, 55, Tim Robbins, 59, David Zucker, 70, Suzanne Somers, 71, Angela Lansbury, 92.

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