In a continuing turn of events equal parts dizzying and sickening, the allegations of sexual harassment and sexual assault against Harvey Weinstein have mounted quickly since the initial report appeared in the New York Times last week.
On Sunday, Weinstein was fired from the company that bears his name, Weinstein Co. In the hours leading up to that announcement, Weinstein had been sending an email to other top executives in Hollywood in a desperate attempt to somehow keep the Weinstein Co. board, including his brother Bob Weinstein, from firing him.
Among those who received a message from Harvey Weinstein was Jeffrey Katzenberg. Katzenberg, currently running the digital media firm WndrCo, was chairman of Walt Disney Studios when Disney acquired Weinstein’s Miramax Film Corp. in 1993.
In a story the Hollywood Reporter published Tuesday, Katzenberg said he did not initially know how to respond to Weinstein’s message, and began calling others for advice.
“I have to say there was not a single person that didn’t say, ‘You need to answer this,’” Katzenberg said. “So I sat down and wrote a response and I called them back and I read it to them. There wasn’t a single person who didn’t say, ‘Send it.’”
Katzenberg sent his response about an hour and a half after receiving the email from Weinstein, and a few hours before the announcement that Weinstein had been fired.
Here’s Katzenberg’s email response:
Hey Harvey, Here is the bottom line. You stated in your email below that “A lot of the allegations are false as you know.” Well actually I don’t “know” and given the timing of the circumstances, I have no way of knowing.
However, you yourself, in your quotes, have acknowledged that you have behaved inappropriately … so it seems to me we are now down to degrees of horrible.
You have done terrible things to a number of women over a period of years.
I cannot in any way say this is OK with me.… It’s not at all, and I am sickened by it, angry with you and incredibly disappointed in you.
There appear to be two Harvey Weinsteins … one that I have known well, appreciated and admired and another that I have not known at all.
As someone who has been a friend of yours for 30 years, I’m available to give you advice on how to at least try to make amends, if possible address those that you’ve wronged, and just possibly find a path to heal and redeem yourself. Having watched your reactions, seen the actions you have taken and read your statement, I will tell you, in my opinion, you have gone about this all wrong and you are continuing to make a horrible set of circumstances even worse.
I doubt this is what you want to hear from me and most likely you aren’t interested in my advice but this is the way I see it. I remain available. JK.