Sexual Harassment and the Harvey Weinstein Scandal

Sexual harassment and gender discrimination has long been hinted at within the movie industry but only in recent years have investigations been launched shedding some light onto these accusations. Movie moguls have been known to use their power to coerce female actors into compromising situations that would often lead to unwanted sexual harassment and advances.  Often, these film producers would go as far as to threaten their victims to stay silent about the abuse or risk putting their careers in danger. This all seems to be the case in the recent Harvey Weinstein scandal.

About five days after The New York Times published their scathing report on the acclaimed film producer, Harvey Weinstein, with claims accounting 30 years of sexual harassment, many in the business have stepped forward. A few defended the producer but many more had supporting claims and even alleged that they too had been victims of Weinstein. Some of the A-list celebrities that recalled the producer’s unwanted advances include Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow. The two had similar claims, accusing Weinstein of luring them to more secluded areas under the guise of having a professional meeting where he would launch his attack.

More than a dozen women have since stepped forward with accusations of sexual assault and even rape. A 2015 audio clip from a sting operation has surfaced where Weinstein can be heard pressuring a female to enter his hotel room and seemingly admitting to groping her. Unfortunately, according to the New York Police Department, the audio clip was insufficient to prove a crime under the law. Due to the recent developments, the movie mogul has lost his position at The Weinstein Company and his wife of ten years has chosen to file for divorce.  Fitapelli & Schaffer, LLP is actively investigating pursuing a civil action on behalf of Weinstein victims.

It can be extremely intimidating to even think about speaking out against someone in a position with such power over your career or place of work. A consultation with an employment lawyer can help you navigate the situation and inform you of your rights. Fitapelli & Schaffer, LLP strongly believes that sexual harassment and gender discrimination in the workplace is something that should not be tolerated. To speak to an available attorney now, please call us at (212) 300-0375 for a free phone consultation or visit our website for more information.