In a report Thursday that exposed the so-called ‘open secret in Hollywood,’ The New York Times published accusations going back decades that claimed movie producer Harvey Weinstein was a serial sexual harasser. ABC Correspondent Linsey Davis described the allegations as “explosive,” but on NBC Nightly News and Access Hollywood, they completely ignored the story altogether. The NBC blackout came after they touted such accusations again late Fox News boss Roger Ailes and host Bill O’Reilly.
In their investigative report, the Times began by recalling a disturbing interaction between Actress Ashley Judd and Weinstein were he asked her to watch him take a shower. They added that:
An investigation by The New York Times found previously undisclosed allegations against Mr. Weinstein stretching over nearly three decades, documented through interviews with current and former employees and film industry workers, as well as legal records, emails and internal documents from the businesses he has run, Miramax and the Weinstein Company.
Just as outrageous, Access Hollywood, NBC’s sensationalist gossip show centered on the rich and famous, failed to touch on the story at all. It’s the same show were the leaked video/audio of Donald Trump talking about grabbing women originated from.
Despite the fact that the accusations against Weinstein were so disgusting and heinous, NBC ran not a single second of the story. In the past, they were overjoyed by similar accusations against those who worked at Fox News. They spent days on end chronicling the fall of big names like Roger Ailes and Bill O’Reilly, and the advertisers who dropped their support. So why so silent now?
Well, according to the Times, Weinstein was a big player in Democratic political circles:
A longtime Democratic donor, he hosted a fund-raiser for Hillary Clinton in his Manhattan home last year. He employed Malia Obama, the oldest daughter of former President Barack Obama, as an intern this year, and recently helped endow a faculty chair at Rutgers University in Gloria Steinem’s name.
In doing what NBC wouldn’t, ABC’s Davis noted on World News Tonight that Judd “told Variety back in 2015, ‘I was sexually harassed by one of our industry's most famous, admired-slash-reviled bosses.’” “She did not name him at the time, but Variety describes how he "Kept summoning her to his hotel room under the pretense of talking about roles in his movies" and "tried to get Judd to watch him take a shower," Davis added.
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One of Weinstein’s lawyers was Lisa Bloom, known for being the daughter of infamous attorney Gloria Allred and one of the lawyers who vigorously pursued similar harassment allegations against O’Reilly. Davis reported that Bloom was “advising Weinstein and leased a statement calling him ‘an old dinosaur learning new ways.’ But also says, ‘He denies many of the accusations as patently false.’”
Although CBS Evening News did report the Weinstein story, they omitted Bloom’s role in the situation. It’s only fair to note that Bloom was a legal analyst for the news outlet.
Instead of reporting on the Hollywood shaking news, NBC chose to continue to glorify how they’re sowing chaos and discontent in the White House. Just as they did during their morning show, they touted how angry they were making Trump by claiming Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called him a moron.
World News Tonight
October 5, 2017
6:47:46 PM Eastern
DAVID MUIR: The new headline tonight involving one of the most powerful figures in Hollywood. Several allegations of sexual harassment against movie producer Harvey Weinstein. From young assistants to a famous actress. And tonight here, his response. Here's ABC's Linsey Davis now.
[Cuts to live]
LINSEY DAVIS: Explosive new allegations tonight from The New York Times about Harvey Weinstein, the studio exec known for producing blockbuster movies like Goodwill Hunting, Pulp Fiction and Silver Linings Playbook.
DAVIS: He's been lauded repeatedly, by male and female Oscar winners alike.
DAVIS: Now Weinstein says he is planning to take a leave of absence to "Deal with this issue head on." The New York Times describes several sexual harassment accusations, including from actress Ashley Judd, who told Variety back in 2015, "I was sexually harassed by one of our industry's most famous, admired-slash-reviled bosses."
She did not name him at the time, but Variety describes how he "Kept summoning her to his hotel room under the pretense of talking about roles in his movies" and "tried to get Judd to watch him take a shower."
According to The New York Times, Weinstein reached settlements with at least eight women. In response to the allegations, Weinstein said in a statement "I came of age in the '60s and '70s when all the rules about behavior and workplaces were different. I appreciate the way I've behaved with colleagues in the past has caused a lot of pain, and I sincerely apologize for it."
Attorney Lisa Bloom, daughter of feminist lawyer Gloria Allred, is advising Weinstein and leased a statement calling him “an old dinosaur learning new ways." But also says, "He denies many of the accusations as patently false."
[Cuts back to live]
Weinstein's lawyer tells ABC News they plan to sue The New York Times, saying the story is saturated with false and defamatory statements. The New York Times says they are confident in their reporting. David?