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The fallout since the Weinstein scandal first rocked Hollywood

The fallout since the Weinstein scandal first rocked Hollywood
Posted at 9:11 AM, Apr 05, 2018

It's been six months since the man once synonymous with Hollywood inadvertently caused a seismic shift and one of the most important conversations in the industry's history — and even beyond the entertainment world.

What began with a few brave women coming forward about mistreatment at the hands of Oscar-winning producer Harvey Weinstein has emerged into a movement against abuse that has reverberated across industries.

In just half a year, dozens of once powerful men have been held accountable for mistreatment, thousands of people have raised their voices to say, "me too," and at least one industry -- people hope, anyway -- will never be the same.

Again, it's happened in six months.

As it stands, the allegations against Weinstein range from harassment to rape, include the stories of more than 80 women and span several decades. (Through a spokesperson, Weinstein has repeatedly denied "any allegations of non-consensual sex.")


Below is a timeline of how the Weinstein scandal unfolded.

October 5

The New York Times publishes a story detailing numerous accusations of sexual harassment against movie producer Harvey Weinstein. One of Weinstein's accusers is actress Ashley Judd.

"Women have been talking about Harvey amongst ourselves for a long time, and it's simply beyond time to have the conversation publicly," Judd told the Times.

In response, Weinstein issues a statement and announces his leave of absence from The Weinstein Company.

"I appreciate the way I've behaved with colleagues in the past has caused a lot of pain, and I sincerely apologize for it," the statement read in part.

October 8

Weinstein is fired by The Weinstein Company, which he co-founded with his brother Bob in 2005. The board cites "new information about misconduct by Harvey Weinstein that has emerged in the past few days" as the reason for his termination.

October 10

Weinstein is accused of rape by multiple women in an explosive story by Ronan Farrow for The New Yorker.

The story, 10 months in the making, also included new allegations of harassment and other improper behavior -- along with assertions that people at Weinstein's film company knew about his misconduct.

Later that day, The New York Times published a followup story with quotes from Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie and other Hollywood actresses with allegations against Weinstein.

Weinstein issues his first of what would be several denials of "non-consensual sex."

October 14

Weinstein is ousted from the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences.

In a statement, the Academy says the action was intended "not simply to separate ourselves from someone who does not merit the respect of his colleagues but also to send a message that the era of willful ignorance and shameful complicity in sexually predatory behavior and workplace harassment in our industry is over."

In the coming weeks, the Directors Guild of America, the Producers Guild of America and the British Academy of Film and Television Arts would all take steps to distance themselves from Weinstein.

October 15

Alyssa Milano tweets a note reading, "Suggested by a friend: If all the women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote 'Me too' as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem."

#MeToo, created more than a decade earlier by civil rights activistTarana Burke to increase awareness of the sexual abuse of young women of color, becomes a viral campaign.

October 19

The Los Angeles Police Department opens aninvestigation into an alleged 2013 sexual assault involving Weinstein and an accuser who asked to remain anonymous.

Law enforcement in London and New York are also investigating alleged sex crimes by Weinstein.

October 25

"Game Change" co-author and journalist Mark Halperin is accused of sexual harassment by former female colleagues at ABC News.

"During this period, I did pursue relationships with women that I worked with, including some junior to me," Halperin said in a statement to CNN.

"I now understand from these accounts that my behavior was inappropriate and caused others pain. For that, I am deeply sorry and I apologize. Under the circumstances, I'm going to take a step back from my day-to-day work while I properly deal with this situation."

NBC News, where Halperin was a contributor, would cut ties with him days later.

October 29

Actor Anthony Rapp accuses Kevin Spacey of making a sexual advanceat him when Rapp was 14 in a report published by Buzzfeed. Spacey responds via Twitter, saying he did not recall the alleged incident with Rapp. He apologizes for what he said would have been "deeply inappropriate drunken behavior."

November 1

Director and producer Brett Ratner is accused of sexual misconduct by Olivia Munn and five other women in a report published by The Los Angeles Times. The allegations range from sexual harassment to assault.

Ratner's attorney Martin Singer says the director "vehemently denies" the allegations.

November 9

Comedian Louis C.K. is accused of sexual misconduct by five women in a New York Times report, including allegations that he masturbated in front of them.

November 10

Louis C.K. releases a statement in response to the allegations.

"These stories are true. At the time, I said to myself that what I did was okay because I never showed a woman my dick without asking first, which is also true," the comedian wrote. "But what I learned later in life, too late, is that when you have power over another person, asking them to look at your dick isn't a question. It's a predicament for them. The power I had over these women is that they admired me. And I wielded that power irresponsibly."

November 21

CBS and PBS cuts ties with host Charlie Rose after The Washington Post publishes claims of sexual harassment by eight women.

Bloomberg, which aired Rose's eponymous interview program, also ended its business relationship with Rose.

In December, PBS would give CNN's Christiane Amanpourher own show as an interim replacement for Rose.

Rose said in a statement that he "deeply apologized" for what he admitted was "inappropriate behavior," but said he did "not believe that all of [the] allegations are accurate."

November 29

Minnesota Public Radio terminates its contracts with Garrison Keillor, a fixture of public radio and the creator of "A Prairie Home Companion," citing allegations of misconduct.

"I've been fired over a story that I think is more interesting and more complicated than the version MPR heard," Keillor said in a statement. "It's some sort of poetic irony to be knocked off the air by a story, having told so many of them myself, but I'm 75 and don't have any interest in arguing about this."

On the same day, Savannah Guthrie announces on the "Today" show that Matt Lauer has been fired by NBC News after an employee filed a complaint about "inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace," according to the network.

"We are devastated," Guthrie said.

November 30

A day after he is fired, Matt Lauerissues an apology.

"There are no words to express my sorrow and regret for the pain I have caused others by words and actions," Lauer said in a statement provided to CNN. "Some of what is being said about me is untrue or mischaracterized, but there is enough truth in these stories to make me feel embarrassed and ashamed. I regret that my shame is now shared by the people I cherish dearly."

On the same day, Russell Simmons announces he is stepping down from his companies in the wake of an accusation of harassment and sexual assault by screenwriter Jenny Lumet in a guest column published by The Hollywood Reporter.

"I know Jenny and her family and have seen her several times over the years since the evening she described. While her memory of that evening is very different from mine, it is now clear to me that her feelings of fear and intimidation are real," Simmons writes in a statement. "While I have never been violent, I have been thoughtless and insensitive in some of my relationships over many decades and I sincerely and humbly apologize."

December 6

Time magazine names "The Silence Breakers," representing people who came forward to report sexual misconduct, as its Person of the Year.

"These silence breakers have started a revolution of refusal, gathering strength by the day," read an excerpt from the piece. "Their collective anger has spurred immediate and shocking results: nearly every day, CEOs have been fired, moguls toppled, icons disgraced. In some cases, criminal charges have been brought."

December 7

Democratic Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota resigns from Congress following allegations of sexual harassment.

"I, of all people, am aware that there is some irony in the fact that I am leaving while a man who has bragged on tape about his history of sexual assault sits in the Oval Office," Franken says in his resignation speech.

Franken had previously said he was "embarrassed and ashamed."

December 11

Celebrity chef Mario Batali steps away from his restaurant business and ABC television show amid allegations of sexual misconduct, following an investigation by online publication Eater.

Batali issues an apology to "the people I have mistreated and hurt."

"That behavior was wrong and there are no excuses," he says. "I take full responsibility and am deeply sorry for any pain, humiliation or discomfort I have caused to my peers, employees, customers, friends and family."

January 1

A group of more than 1,000 women in entertainment announce the launch of Time's Up, a comprehensive plan to combat sexual assault, harassment and inequality in the workplace. Director Ava DuVernay, producer Kathleen Kennedy and dozens of actors, including America Ferrera, Emma Stone and Constance Wu, outline the mission of Time's Up in an open letter published in The New York Times.

"We want all survivors of sexual harassment, everywhere, to be heard, to be believed, and to know that accountability is possible," the letter read in part.

January 7

Black dresses rule the red carpet at the 75th Golden Globe Awardsin a show of solidarity for the Time's Up mission.

Oprah Winfreyaccepts the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the Globes and gives a rousing speech in support of the #MeToo movement. The media mogul's message came during a ceremony notable for being the first major awards show since Hollywood began addressing sexual abuse in the entertainment industry and beyond.

"I want all the girls watching here, now, to know that a new day is on the horizon," Winfrey tells the crowd. "And when that new day finally dawns, it will be because of a lot of magnificent women, many of whom are right here in this room tonight, and some pretty phenomenal men, fighting hard to make sure that they become the leaders who take us to the time when nobody ever has to say 'me too' again."

January 11

The Los Angeles Times publishes a story in which five women allege they experienced inappropriate and sometimes sexually exploitative behavior by actor James Franco.

"If I've done something wrong, I will fix it," Franco says of the allegations.

January 16

Aziz Ansari responds to an accusation of sexual assault made by a woman with whom he went on a date the year prior by saying he believed their encounter had been "completely consensual."

The woman, a 23-year-old photographer, had shared her account with the website Babe anonymously, the day prior.

The accusations against Ansari causeddisagreementamong many, including supporters of the Time's Up and #MeToo movements, with debate around the nuances of consent.

January 20

The second annual Women's March results in 500 events across six continents -- from Wellington, New Zealand; to Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan; to Lusaka, Zambia; to Seville, Spain; to Quito, Ecuador; to Statesboro, Georgia; and Sandpoint, Idaho.

Women's March co-organizer Linda Sarsour told CNN, "I'm just grateful to be alive at this moment, to see people rise up around the world."

February 6

Uma Thurman recounts to the New York Times a series of disturbing incidents involving Weinstein, including an alleged assault in a London hotel room.

Her interview also sparks a conversation about on-set power dynamics, after she recalled an incident in which she was coerced into doing a dangerous stunt by director Quentin Tarantino. She described the event as "dehumanization to the point of death."

Tarantinocalls the incident "one of the biggest regrets" of his life in an interview with Deadline.

February 11

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman files a lawsuit against Weinstein and The Weinstein Company, effectively pausing plans for the company's sale to a group of investors led by Maria Contreras-Sweet.

"Weinstein Company leadership was complicit in Harvey Weinstein's wrongdoing," Schneiderman writes on Twitter the day after filing the suit. "They knew what was happening. They knew how pervasive it was. And yet they did nothing."

February 17

The Weinstein Company terminates David Glasser, a top executive who had been in charge of running the studio along with Harvey and Bob Weinstein.

Glasser was fired in response to some of the allegations contained in Schneiderman's lawsuit, sources told CNN.

Glasser responds with a wrongful termination claim. In a February statement to Variety, his attorney Eve Wagner said "the board had no grounds to justify his firing."

"Through this lawsuit, we intend to bring to light facts and evidence to demonstrate that the board acted precipitously and with malice. We are confident that a complete airing of all of the evidence will show that our client was scapegoated by the TWC Board of Directors," Wagner added.

March 2

The Weinstein Company strikes a $500 million deal to sell its assets to Contreras-Sweet and investors.

Days later, the deal falls apart, and bankruptcy becomes imminent.

March 4

Oscars host Jimmy Kimmel caps off a loaded awards season with a monologue that praises the Time's Up movement and roasts Weinstein.

"The only other person to be expelled from the Academy -- ever -- was a character actor named Carmine Caridi," Kimmel says. "In 2004 he was kicked out for sharing screeners. Carmine Caridi got the same punishment as Harvey Weinstein for giving his neighbor a copy of 'Seabiscuit' on VHS."

During the show, Ashley Judd, Salma Hayek and Annabella Sciorratake the stage to talk about the #MeToo movement and praise the survivors of harassment who have come forward.

"The changes we are witnessing is being driven by the powerful sound of new voices, of different voices, of our voices, joining together in a mighty chorus that is finally saying, 'time's up,'" Judd said.

March 19

The New York State attorney general announces it will review the Manhattan district attorney's handling of a 2015 sexual abuse case involving disgraced media mogul Harvey Weinstein.

Time's Up had called for an investigation into DA Cyrus Vance and his office over its decision not to prosecute Weinstein for alleged sex abuse crimes against accuser Ambra Battilana.

Later in the day, The Weinstein Company files for bankruptcy and, in the process, releases all former employees from the legal contracts, or non-disclosure agreements, that kept them from speaking out.

"Effective immediately, those 'agreements' end," the company said in a statement. "No one should be afraid to speak out or coerced to stay quiet," it added.

Bankruptcy attorney Robert Marticello told CNN the Weinstein Company's decision to release victims from their NDA's "could be viewed as an attempt to ensure that all of the potential claims are raised and addressed in this bankruptcy case." He added that victims asserting claims could benefit from the sale of the company's assets, after others, including creditors and attorneys, are paid from the proceeds.