The fate of The Weinstein Company following the revelations surrounding co-founder Harvey has been in the balance for several months now. The company’s assets are certainly a decent investment, but the financial state of the business was in question for a long time prior to everything that’s unfolded since September. Add to that the sheer stench that now surrounds the mere mention of the people involved and it’s safe to see most industry experts were predicting bankruptcy, a total shutdown or both.
Then an investor group stepped in, and they offered to make a deal that would keep the company alive but also make it far more focused on women. Headed by Maria Conteras-Sweet, the former Administrator of the Small Business Administration, the group’s plan was to make the company a paragon of women in leadership. Their proposal also included retention of employees, assumption of liabilities, a litigation fund for victims to be compensated, and mediation with those accusers, headlined by Gloria Allred. All that and more for an estimated $275m. It seemed to be exactly what was needed. Why not take this shit-storm and make something worthwhile from it?
According to Variety, that deal is now on ‘life support’. After New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman filed suit against the company and the Weinstein brothers themselves, Conteras-Sweet and her team are less keen to get back into this fleapit. Schneiderman’s lawsuit, according to the piece, exposed big problems with this possible deal, such as the plan to keep most of the senior managers in place. The suit argues that people like longtime COO Davis Glasser and Bob Weinstein could have done more to deal with Harvey’s alleged abuses.
Honestly, at this point in time, I think The Weinstein Company is dead and reviving it, even with the best of intentions, may just be too raw a reminder of a sordid past for many in and outside of the industry. The big problem with that is that, if no deal can be reached, then the company will probably file for bankruptcy, and victims may never get any form of compensation for what happened to them. Even at their lowest points, abusers still hold the cards.
As far as we know, Harvey is still in Arizona ‘seeking treatment’ and occasionally sending out statements to smear the women who accuse him.
What do you think? Should the deal go ahead or would you rather The Weinstein Company be burned to the ground? Answers in the comments.