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U.K. public broadcaster BBC has ordered a feature-length documentary on Harvey Weinstein’s rise and fall, including interviews with “the many actresses who have been brave enough to tell their stories” of sexual harassment and assault scandal, as well as producers, directors, actors, agents, lawyers, journalists and others.
The 90-minute film, directed by Ursula MacFarlane (Charlie Hebdo: Three Days that Shook Paris), has the working title Weinstein and will air on BBC Two. It will premiere on Feb. 20 at 10 p.m.
Production company Lightbox, founded by Academy Award-winning producer Simon Chinn (Man on Wire, Searching for Sugar Man) and Emmy Award winner Jonathan Chinn (LA 92), said it wants the documentary to tell “the definitive story of Weinstein’s career, fall from grace and Hollywood’s culture of abuse.”
Lightbox said it would provide “fresh insights and revelations to the epic story of Weinstein’s rise and fall,” as well as “the definitive account of one of the most far-reaching scandals in Hollywood’s history — one which is still developing.”
Through the prism of Weinstein’s career and the sexual harassment and assault scandal, the film will also look at the history of Hollywood and “delve into the complex mix of money, power, exploitation and abuse that developed with the emergence of the studio system in the 1930s” to uncover “the culture of fear and abuse that permeates Hollywood.”
Said the Chinn cousins who are executive producers of the documentary: “Through telling the story of Weinstein’s extraordinary rise and fall, this film will really get to the heart of the big questions that lie at the center of the scandal: how did Weinstein get away with his behavior for so long, what does his story reveal about how powerful men have operated in Hollywood and beyond and will this be a watershed moment in terms of the way women are treated in the workplace?”
Patrick Holland, controller of BBC Two, said: “The breaking of silence over Harvey Weinstein is a watershed moment for the creative industries and for wider society. Ursula is a brilliant filmmaker and is perfectly placed to make the definitive documentary, piecing together the story of just how he abused his power and position.”
Tom McDonald, head of commissioning, natural history and specialist factual at the BBC, said that the project “promises to be the definitive take on the Weinstein scandal.”
The Weinstein scandal, which was exposed by early October reports published in The New York Times and The New Yorker, opened the floodgates for women, and men, to come forward and share their stories of sexual misconduct, harassment and assault. Salma Hayek recently added her name to the list of 80-plus accusers who have spoken out against the disgraced mogul.
Headquartered in London and Los Angeles, Lightbox produces nonfiction programming for film, television and digital platforms. The production has won two Oscars, with LA 92, which marks the 25th anniversary of the L.A. riots and was produced for National Geographic, being shortlisted in the feature documentary category for the 2018 Academy Awards.
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