Weinstein goes on the offensive to defend his disgraced brand
After months of tacit denials while his reputation was destroyed and his brand was subject to derision and mockery, disgraced Hollywood uber-Producer, Harvey Weinstein, finally appears to be fighting back. Recent media reports have announced that Weinstein is demanding that a judge toss out a federal sexual misconduct lawsuit against him.
In arguing that the case has no merit and should not be allowed to go forward, Weinstein’s representation dared to echo quotes from Oscar-winning actress Meryl Streep to defend his, currently tattered, honor. Arguing for the dismissal, Weinstein’s attorneys quoted Street as saying Weinstein was “always respectful” in their working relationship. The lawyers also brought up other quotes by famous actresses, including Jennifer Lawrence, who, in an interview with Oprah Winfrey, said Weinstein was “always nice” to her.
Weinstein’s attorneys also argued that the class-action lawsuit filed by six accusers should be dismissed because the alleged assaults happened a long time ago, and the accusations did not reach the level of proving racketeering charges. The stars invoked by Weinstein’s lawyers reacted quickly and vociferously…
Streep said the attorneys misused her statement, calling attempts to use (the statement) as evidence he was not abusive to many OTHER women “pathetic and exploitive.” And Streep was far from finished: “The criminal actions he is accused of conducting on the bodies of these women are his responsibility… and if there is any justice left in the system, he will pay for them.”
Weinstein’s attorneys tried to discredit the claims made by the complainants in the case, once again invoking an A-list celebrity, this time Gwyneth Paltrow, to try to win favor for their argument. Paltrow worked with Weinstein on “Emma,” after which she accused him of harassing her, then again worked with Weinstein on “Shakespeare in Love” four years later.
Based on that timeline of events, Weinstein’s attorneys argued: “Paltrow was not so offended that she refused to work with Weinstein again, nor did her career suffer as a result of her rebuffing his alleged advances…”
Will arguments such as this do much to repair Weinstein’s reputation in Hollywood or in the country? Likely not, at least not at this point. Currently, at least 75 women have reported harassment by Weinstein, according to the Associated Press. It will take a lot more than a couple of offhand comments by A-listers to beat back this ongoing investigation or the negative PR that continues to build because of these accusations.