Harvey Weinstein, the disgraced chief of The Weinstein Company, has been fired effective immediately, his board of directors said on Sunday.
“In light of new information about misconduct by Harvey Weinstein that has emerged in the past few days, the directors of The Weinstein Company – Robert Weinstein, Lance Maerov, Richard Koenigsberg and Tarak Ben Ammar – have determined, and have informed Harvey Weinstein, that his employment with The Weinstein Company is terminated, effective immediately,” the statement read.
That leaves the company under the current direction of co-Chairman Bob Weinstein, Harvey’s younger brother, and COO David Glasser. The role of CEO is expected to be named shortly.
The company has been under intense pressure since The New York Times broke an investigative story on Thursday detailing three decades of sexual misconduct, including accusations that he propositioned actresses and harassed female employees.
More ugly stories continued to dribble out over the weekend, including a vulgar report by a news anchor that Weinstein masturbated in front of her and other stories of inappropriate propositions.
Weinstein voluntarily took a leave of absence on Thursday, but that did not suffice to stem the tide of rejection of the once-powerful mogul by members of his own board, politicians he supported for years and industry colleagues.
Since the publication of the Times story, four board members — Marc Lasry, Paul Tudor Jones, Dirk Ziff and Tim Sarnoff — resigned, and legal advisers including lawyers Lisa Bloom and Lanny Davis stepped away from the toxic situation.
Public figures who were previously considered friends and business partners distanced themselves unequivocally, including MSNBC anchor Mika Brzezinski, who said she would not fulfill a book contract with TWC’s publishing division if Harvey Weinstein stayed on as CEO.
Internally, Weinstein continued to fight for his survival, insiders have told TheWrap. His advisers — including his brother, Bob — told him that he needed to take the allegations seriously and not merely pay lip service. They urged him to leave for six months and get treatment for sex addiction or whatever his unacceptable behavior would be designated.
Weinstein told TheWrap in an interview on Thursday that he was sincere in his apology and his intention to make amends. But reports continued to leak out of the company that the CEO was determined to dictate the terms of his leave of absence and treatment.
The board became increasingly concerned about the company’s survival and were in the midst of negotiating a deal on Saturday and Sunday for Weinstein to resign. That deal apparently fell apart on Sunday, and the board issued the termination notice, bringing an extraordinary end to the career of one of Hollywood’s most powerful moguls.
Harvey and Bob Weinstein co-founded the indie film company Miramax in 1979 and grew it into a powerhouse brand that made art-house films mainstream and reshaped the Academy Awards race with aggressive marketing and buzz with movies from “Pulp Fiction,” to “Shakespeare in Love” to “Good Will Hunting.”
The company was bought by Disney in 1993, and the brothers continued to run the company — and dominate Oscar races — until they left in 2005 to launch the new privately held Weinstein Company. The brothers have a 44 percent stake in the firm, according to the Times.