In a year where Universal fails to launch their cinematic monster world called Dark Universe, Warner Bros. meets bombs, Justice League failing to make the impact at the box office and Paramount almost taking the crown, one contender decided to walk onto the scene and even outdo last year’s ultimate loser, Sony. Who would be this film company you ask?
The Weinstein Company
1. Co-Creator of the Company Accused of Sexual Harassment
Who would have thought this year’s winner of the worst award of the year would go to a studio responsible for one the most acclaimed movies of the past decade. If you’ve been living under a rock, news recently surfaced one of the company’s founders, Harvey Weinstein was accused of numerous sexual assaults. That’s really understating it since these occurrences were 3 decades worth of allegations. One of them was from 2007 when H. Weinstein invited a woman to meet with him privately in a Cuban-themed restaurant in Manhattan, before exposing himself and masturbating in front of her.
Another case happened in 2015 when a female assistant was pressured into giving him a massage while he was naked. Two decades ago, actress Ashley Judd was asked to meet Harvey in his hotel suite. Expecting a business breakfast she went up and when there was asked by the producer himself who was in a bathrobe to give him a massage or watch him take a shower. This disgusting behavior continued throughout the years. Women would actually speak out about this earlier, but only now we are seeing repercussions. New York times was the outlet to kickstart Harvey Weinstein’s exposure. You can read in full here. Other women effected who have come out are: Lauren O’Connor, Rose McGowan, Gwenyth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie and now Salma Hayek.
This news became a global phenomenon. It led to women and even some men to come out about the times a person in power would sexually assault or harass. This far surpassed just the film industry, but the internet celebrities, stand up comedians, comic book editors and so much more. It’s very sad it took this long for anyone to do something about it, but we should at least celebrate the evil men of the world got what they deserved. Or so we think.
Will this actually be enough? Will this change something? Yes, people are finally opening up and there are more harms done to the people in the higher positions getting what they deserve, but Hollywood knew about this before anyone else. The industry knew they just chose to stay silent, maybe because they too were scared of their career being affected. Roman Polanski is one of the known sexual predators who till this day are a member of the Academy. This event has also led to an uproar of many false or blown out of proportion accusations that hurt the cause itself, but that’s yet another topic that should be left for another day.
2. Struggle to Stay Relevant
Now, yes this already has been enough of a disaster, yet when giving out these awards we are looking at the companies primarily so we must mention how this will affect the studio itself. The big one is no other investor or business partner will be interested in making offers with such bad word of mouth even if the board kicked out Harvey Weinstein from his position. This will significantly lower the studio’s chances of making any business deals which already has been an issue of the company for the past couple of years. What do I mean by that? Well, the Weinstein Company would normally travel to film festivals and buy the ownership to the best films there however, they recently have had competitors. Netflix, Amazon and Hulu are all streaming services who hold plans to spend $6 billion, $4.5 billion and $2.5 billion to seek out original content, a budget Weinstein cannot come close to. Just last Sundance Festival Netflix picked up 10 films. The competition for the Weinstein Company emerges with a bigger will to spend. This was an issue for the company before the backlash so imagining how this will become an even bigger problem really puts it into perspective.
3. No More Recognition?
Next, we can expect a recoil at the 2018’s Academy Award ceremony. The Oscars will do more than just talk about the issue itself, this will most likely hurt the chances of films distributed by the company to win any sort of awards. The award season was a prominent form of marketing for the studio’s prestige within itself. The brand name is tarnished no doubt. We’d have to wait for the official Oscar Nominations to see whether any film does get nominated. It’s really shame because we have seen a ton of amazing films coming out of this house of ideas that truly spread awareness on serious topics.
The company has also been affected from the inside as four Weinstein board members quit over the scandal. Overall, The Weinstein Company is the Biggest Loser of 2017 in film because of its terrible co-founder and the losses it will have to go through if not already. Congratulations, you failed.