Harvey Weinstein Staff Members Speak Out About Sexual Harassment Allegations, Ask To Be Freed From NDAs
As the fallout from mounting sexual misconduct allegations against Harvey Weinstein continues, Weinstein Company employees are speaking out about what they did and didn't know. A number of staffers have also asked to be let out of their non-disclosure agreements so they can speak freely and shed their anonymity.
An assistant told The New Yorker that when the Times story published on October 5, Weinstein "expressed satisfaction" that it ran on a Thursday rather than a Sunday because he believed it meant fewer people would see it. The assistant tendered his resignation and said that, as he was leaving the office, Weinstein reached for his arm, began sobbing, and said "I’m not that guy. I’m not that guy."
The following Tuesday, Ronan Farrow's New Yorker report published along with an audio of Weinstein admitting to groping model Ambra Battilana Gutierrez. Staffers gathered in a conference room and listened to the tape. According to the The New Yorker, employees began to shake and cry as they reflected on the roles they may have played as accomplices.
"People were having a wave of retroactive memories,” a creative executive told the outlet. “Some of the stories were within the time frame of people who still worked there."
Over the past two weeks, it's been widely reported that Weinstein's behavior was an "open secret" in Hollywood. Op-eds have been penned criticizing Hollywood executives and staffers who were complicit. At a recent industry luncheon hosted by Variety, Judd Apatow stated: "And what about his staff? People say, ‘Did they know?’ Of course they knew."
But several Weinstein Company employees submitted a statement to The New Yorker contending that they didn't know. The anonymous staffers, who still remain under NDAs, told the outlet that the letter had the support of approximately 30 colleagues.
"We all knew that we were working for a man with an infamous temper. We did not know we were working for a serial sexual predator. We knew that our boss could be manipulative. We did not know that he used his power to systematically assault and silence women," the statement reads. "We had an idea that he was a womanizer who had extra-marital affairs. We did not know he was a violent aggressor and alleged rapist. But to say that we are shocked and surprised only makes us part of the problem."
Of course, all these statements and quotes are from anonymous staffers due to their non-disclosure agreements — but that could change. As reported by Vulture, Weinstein Company staffers have written a letter asking to be freed from their NDAs so they can openly speak about the allegations.
"We have nothing to hide, and are as angry and baffled as you are at how Harvey’s behavior could continue for so long. We ask that the company let us out of our NDAs immediately — and do the same for all former Weinstein Company employees — so we may speak openly, and get to the origins of what happened here, and how," the letter reads. "We unequivocally support all the women who have come forward, many of whom we count among our own friends and colleagues."