Harvey Weinstein is one of the most successful film producers in cinematic history, but after the reports of his sexual misconduct broke in the past three months it is most likely Weinstein will be remembered for his decades of sexual harassment and the seismic shift that results from his secret going public. Early in his career, Weinstein started out promoting rock concerts, but always had a passion for movies. In 1979, Weinstein and his brother, Bob, founded Miramax, a small independent film distribution company. The brothers’ company went on to become one of the most influential film companies in the industry. Miramax released several critically acclaimed films including Good Will Hunting, Shakespeare in Love, and The English Patient. In 2015, the Weinstein brothers left Miramax to build their own production company, The Weinstein Company. Their success continued in this new venture, producing more successful films like Django Unchained, The King’s Speech, and Silver Linings Playbook. On October 5, 2017, the New York Times published a story describing the decades of sexual harassment allegations leveled against Weinstein. Five days later, the New Yorker published another article, written by Ronan Farrow, that included allegations against Weinstein from thirteen additional women. In the New York Times article, actress Ashley Judd detailed how Weinstein invited her to a business breakfast meeting but ended up wanting to meet her in his hotel room. Once in the hotel room Weinstein, dressed in a bathrobe, asked if he could give her a message or if she would watch him shower. Emily Nestor, who was a temporary employee at Weinstein Company for only a day, when Weinstein told her that if she accepted his sexual advances, he could help advance her career. Weinstein used his power from his success in the film industry to take advantage of women for his own pleasure. His targets were females in their early- to mid-twenties hoping to get their big break in the industry.           The common narrative from his accusers involves meeting him at a hotel for what they thought was business purposes; instead, Weinstein had other interests. Additional accusations in these original articles include Weinstein appearing naked in front of them, masturbating in front of them, forcing oral sex, or touching them inappropriately. His accusers described themselves as feeling trapped and that they had no choice but to oblige. Out of fear of retaliation from Weinstein they believed they couldn’t tell anyone about his misconduct.             In March 2015, Weinstein invited Italian model and actress Ambra Battilana Gutierrez to his hotel to discuss her career. After leaving, Gutierrez called the New York Police Department claiming that Weinstein grabbed her breast and put his hand up her skirt without permission. Gutierrez worked with the police trying to get a confession out of Weinstein. These recordings caught Weinstein trying to make amends with Gutierrez and saying, “I’m used to that” in reference to groping breasts. Gutierrez’s reputation was attacked in the press and the Manhattan District Attorney’s office declined to press charges against Weinstein.While Weinstein has denied any wrong-doing and claims all of his encounters were consensual, within a month of the publishing of the exposés, a total of 84 women came forward accusing Weinstein of inappropriate behavior. These women ranged from former employees at his companies to some of Hollywood’s most recognizable stars, Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow. The claims against Weinstein include sexual harassment, sexual assault, and rape. An investigation by the New York Times found that during his time at Miramax and Weinstein Company, Harvey reached at least eight settlements with women for issues of sexual harassment and unwanted physical contact. Police departments in Los Angeles, New York, and London have since opened criminal investigations into the claims made against Weinstein.Many of Weinstein’s colleagues were shocked by the allegations, including his brother Bob; however, many others admit to knowing of inappropriate conduct. These employees were required to have contracts that prevented them from criticizing the company or business leaders in a way that could harm reputations. According to Ronan Farrow’s research, former executives and assistants felt guilt over and regret over what went on around them, but none of them quit because of the misconduct they knew was occurring. Weinstein appeared to work to cover his tracks and prevent his perpetual misconduct from becoming public knowledge.To the public eye, Weinstein never presented himself as an abuser of women. He was a long-time, large dollar donor for the Democratic party and campaigned for Hillary Clinton. He participated in the women’s march last January after the election of Donald Trump. Weinstein also pledged $5 million to fund an endowment at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts specifically for women filmmakers. And Weinstein Company distributed the 2015 documentary The Hunting Ground, which examined the issue of sexual assault on college campuses.            Since these allegations surfaced, Weinstein was fired from the Weinstein Company, stripped of many of his titles/awards, and maintained a low profile away from the spotlight. Weinstein doesn’t stand alone in facing allegations. Since the allegations broke in October, a sea change has occurred with a ripple that has brought down several other high-profile men in media, politics, and other industries for allegations of inappropriate behavior and sexual misconduct. Since October, fifty other men have either been fired or resigned as a result of sexual misconduct. While dozens of others have been accused, but not faced as severe of a fallout.            Other names brought down include Kevin Spacey. Multiple men accused Spacey of sexual assault as well as sexual misconduct with a minor. As a result, Spacey was fired from House of Cards and removed from other projects (the movie All the Money in the World replaced Spacey and reshot all his scenes a month before it hit theaters). Additionally, Louis C.K., producer/director Brett Ratner, Jeffrey Tambor, and Danny Masterson have faced allegations in the film industry. Politics has also been hit hard with Congressmen Al Franken, John Conyers Jr., Trent Franks all resigning over sexual misconduct claims. Senate candidate Roy Moore faced allegations while campaigning in Alabama and it contributed to his loss in the November special election. Two of America’s most recognizable television hosts, Charlie Rose and Matt Lauer, were both fired from their high-profile positions because of sexual harassment. The men brought down thus far are likely only the start as women are beginning to have their voices heard on sexual harassment.Weinstein wasn’t the first high-profile male accused of sexual harassment; Fox News fired Roger Ailes and Bill O’Reilly in the past two years. Bill Cosby faces accusations and a retrial over drugging and raping women. The President of the United States, Donald Trump, has also faced a myriad of allegations himself. So, why was Harvey Weinstein’s story the tipping point that has created this sea change? A big part of it revolves around the sheer number of accusers that came out against Weinstein as well as the high status of many of the women (Jolie, Judd, etc.). Also, this moment has been building in the past year with the election Trump, who has spoken despairingly about women on multiple occasions. His election in 2016 sparked a movement about women’s rights that swept across the world with the Women’s March the day after Trump’s inauguration.           The movement against sexual harassment has impacted society in a multitude of ways. Improvements in human resource departments were implemented to provide women with more avenues to file complaints and protection against potential backlash for their claims. The women of Hollywood teamed up to launch an initiative that provides legal defense funds to help women in blue collar jobs, legislation that punishes companies that tolerate sexual harassment, and a push for increased gender parity in Hollywood. #MeToo went viral on social media in October to show how widespread misogynistic behavior is in society. Time Magazine named “The Silence Breakers,” those who spoke out against sexual harassment, as their person of the year. Women decided to wear black as a sign of unity against sexual harassment to the Golden Globes this year as part of the #TimesUp movement. Weinstein’s allegations were only the tip of the iceberg of what has come in the following months. However, there is still a lot of work that must continue to help combat the epidemic sexual misconduct in our society. 

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