The Weinstein Company has gone through several months of turmoil and loss after former figurehead Harvey Weinstein was outed in public as an alleged sexual predator. In the time since Harvey Weinstein became synonymous with the #MeToo movement, The Weinstein Company has begun facing numerous lawsuits and has been forced to sell off major assets as a direct result. For a while, buyers were sniffing around the company, and it seemed as if The Weinstein Company would move forward, albeit with a different name. However, that no longer looks to be holding true, as this week The Weinstein Company announced it would be filing for bankruptcy.
Earlier in February, discussions were ongoing about a potential sale when on February 11, the Attorney General's office filed a lawsuit against The Weinstein Company. The lawsuit was a civil rights lawsuit, and one that got a lot of press, especially after Attorney General Eric Schneiderman came out strongly against the sale. He also noted that The Weinstein Company's David Glasser did not do enough to protect women from Harvey Weinsten during his tenure at The Weinstein Company. Glasser was still working for The Weinstein Company at the time, but he was fired after Schneiderman came out against him and now proposes to also sue for "wrongful termination."
Deal talks were still ongoing through all of this mess but were halted after talks last Wednesday. Now, the board of directors released a statement about the decision (via The LA Times), noting,
While we recognize that this is an extremely unfortunate outcome for our employees, our creditors and any victims, the Board has no choice but to pursue the only viable option to maximize the company's remaining value: an orderly bankruptcy process.
Previously, we learned that The Weinstein Company was hoping to change names and workplace cultures by selling to Maria Contreras-Sweet and an investor group, who emerged as the sole bidders a few weeks ago. At the time, we also learned the company was planning on adding a victim fund but also changing the culture as a whole, catering more meals and including areas for women to breastfeed. The victim fund was apparently one of the things the Attorney General was lambasting, and the board of The Weinstein Company was reportedly concerned Maria Contrerar-Sweet and co. weren't doing enough in the proposal to satisfy the Attorney General's office.
With no buyer, bankruptcy looks like it will be the next step. The Weinstein Company has already sold a lot of its valuable assets, including Paddington 2, but even that led to a lawsuit. It's tough to keep track of the myriad lawsuits the company is facing, but we'll keep you updated as this story moves forward.