On Sunday, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman filed a lawsuit against The Weinstein Company (including Harvey and Bob Weinstein) accusing them of creating a hostile work environment and repeatedly sexually harassing, intimidating, and demeaning female employees. The suit comes after a four-month investigation by the AG’s office during which they spoke to numerous former employees of the company and examined corporate records and emails.
The suit claims the company repeatedly failed to protect employees from Harvey Weinstein’s “unrelenting sexual harassment, intimidation, and discrimination,” which presented “egregious violations of New York’s civil rights, human rights, and business laws,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.
While that may seem like information we’ve all become all too familiar with since the first allegations against Weinstein became public last fall, the suit gives even more insight into how prevalent the bad behavior allegedly was across the whole company.
It outlines “a years-long gender-based hostile work environment, a pattern of quid pro quo sexual harassment, and routine misuse of corporate resources for unlawful ends” that extended from about 2005 through October 2017.
Per THR, the suit alleges there was a group of female employees called “wing women” whose “main job was accompanying Weinstein to events where they were expected to facilitate his sexual conquests; a second group of mostly female assistants were required to take steps to facilitate his sexual activity, including maintaining his calendar; and a third group, while their primary job was film or TV production, were required to meet with Weinstein’s prospective victims.
” Apparently, some assistants kept a copy of a “bible” which included instructions on how to arrange Weinstein’s “personals” and were directed to badger women who expressed reluctance. Even drivers were allegedly required to keep condoms and erectile dysfunction injections on hand.
And what of those within the company who did file complaints? The suit alleges that human resources staff would immediately inform Weinstein of a complaint, and would help facilitate retaliation by him or a swift departure of the complainant from the company.
Schneiderman said in a statement, “Any sale of The Weinstein Company must ensure that victims will be compensated, employees will be protected going forward, and that neither perpetrators nor enablers will be unjustly enriched. Every New Yorker has a right to a workplace free of sexual harassment, intimidation, and fear.
Weinstein’s attorney Ben Brafman responded to the suit with a statement: “While Mr. Weinstein’s behavior was not without fault, there certainly was no criminality, and at the end of the inquiry it will be clear that Harvey Weinstein promoted more women to key executive positions than any other industry leader and there was zero discrimination at either Miramax or TWC.
The Weinstein Company board responded separately saying, in part, “We are disappointed that the New York Attorney General felt it necessary to file today’s complaint. Many of the allegations relating to the board are inaccurate and the board looks forward to bringing the facts to light as part of its ongoing commitment to resolve this difficult situation in the most appropriate way.