How Paddington Bear Kept The Weinstein Company Afloat

Paddington Bear, the cuddly creature in a cozy rain slicker, is helping The Weinstein Company weather a storm.

Warner Bros. will release “Paddington 2” in North America this weekend on a wave of warm reviews. That’s good news for a company driven to bankruptcy by ousted c0-founder Harvey Weinstein’s sexual harassment scandal.

The Weinstein Company held domestic rights to the first “Paddington” film, which opened big to $25 million on MLK weekend in 2015, going on to gross $76 million. In November, after the Weinstein scandal broke, TWC sold the domestic rights to “Paddington 2” for an undisclosed price.

The deal helped keep TWC afloat as it tries to find a new owner. “Paddington” was one of the few assets it had with mainstream appeal and could fetch a high price from interested studios. Analysts expect “Paddington 2” to earn in the low $20 million range this holiday weekend.

Of course, Harvey Weinstein’s troubles aren’t the fault of lovable “Paddington” — and producer David Heyman has expressed hope that “Paddington 2” can distance itself from the struggling studio.

TheWrap reported last week that TWC has six bidders, with the top offer falling below $500 million. Whoever the new owners are, they won’t be responsible for the overwhelming litigation cost TWC is currently facing, much of it connected to Weinstein’s sexual harassment charges.

And you can bet that once the deal goes through, they’ll undergo a  rebrand.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Weinstein Company Bidders Down to Six, Sale Price Dips Below $500 Million

Producers of Canceled Amazon Series Sue Weinstein Company for $2 Million

Netflix Won’t Partner With The Weinstein Company on Upcoming Awards Parties

Paddington Bear, the cuddly creature in a cozy rain slicker, is helping The Weinstein Company weather a storm.

Warner Bros. will release “Paddington 2” in North America this weekend on a wave of warm reviews. That’s good news for a company driven to bankruptcy by ousted c0-founder Harvey Weinstein’s sexual harassment scandal.

The Weinstein Company held domestic rights to the first “Paddington” film, which opened big to $25 million on MLK weekend in 2015, going on to gross $76 million. In November, after the Weinstein scandal broke, TWC sold the domestic rights to “Paddington 2” for an undisclosed price.

The deal helped keep TWC afloat as it tries to find a new owner. “Paddington” was one of the few assets it had with mainstream appeal and could fetch a high price from interested studios. Analysts expect “Paddington 2” to earn in the low $20 million range this holiday weekend.

Of course, Harvey Weinstein’s troubles aren’t the fault of lovable “Paddington” — and producer David Heyman has expressed hope that “Paddington 2” can distance itself from the struggling studio.

TheWrap reported last week that TWC has six bidders, with the top offer falling below $500 million. Whoever the new owners are, they won’t be responsible for the overwhelming litigation cost TWC is currently facing, much of it connected to Weinstein’s sexual harassment charges.

And you can bet that once the deal goes through, they’ll undergo a  rebrand.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Weinstein Company Bidders Down to Six, Sale Price Dips Below $500 Million

Producers of Canceled Amazon Series Sue Weinstein Company for $2 Million

Netflix Won't Partner With The Weinstein Company on Upcoming Awards Parties

Weinstein Company Bidders Down to Six, Sale Price Dips Below $500 Million

Bids for the embattled Weinstein Company have been narrowed down to six, the highest among them coming in at under $500 million, a new report says.

Half that price is an assumption of debt, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday, and any new owner would not inherit the presumably massive legal liability stemming from lawsuits over Harvey Weinstein’s sexual misconduct while he ran the studio.

Lionsgate, Hollywood legacy and philanthropist Abigail Disney and former U.S. Small Business Administration head Maria Contreras-Sweet account for half the bidders, TheWrap previously reported.

Also Read: 74 Hollywood and Media Heavyweights Accused of Sexual Misconduct Since Harvey Weinstein

Investment firms Vine Alternative and Shamrock Capital, as well as Christine Vachon’s Killer Content, are also in the race.

While bidders like Contreras-Sweet have pledged to keep the studio in tact and engage its nearly 200 employees, some bidders are hoping to extract library titles and breakout money makers like TWC’s television hit “Project Runway.”

In late December, a TWC insider said Contreras-Sweet would be preferable to, say, Lionsgate as the latter would likely absorb the most attractive parts of the company and dump the rest.

Shareholders are expected to come up empty handed, WSJ said, thanks to considerable existing debt and litigation, like two class action lawsuits in the works against former CEO Harvey. Moelis & Co. is handling the sale.

Complicating matters for TWC is its suffocating debt. Two individuals with knowledge of the situation told TheWrap the company’s estimated total debt is about $900 million, however insiders pegged it at closer to $300 million outstanding. TWC re-upped a $500 million senior credit facility with a variety of institutions last year, which carries a 4 percent interest rate. And the company is only releasing about six to eight movies a year.

Also Read: Harvey Weinstein Made His Assistants Fetch Him Penile Injections

TWC’s speciality label Dimension Films has stagnated while the sale gets underway. Production is wrapping for a Spring release of Robert De Niro’s “War With Grandpa.” There’s also the finished awards hopeful “The Upside,” starring Bryan Cranston and Kevin Hart, whose release was pushed after the October sexual harassment scandal ignited Hollywood.

Once a sale is complete TWC will rebrand and change its name, TheWrap reported in October.

Related stories from TheWrap:

74 Hollywood and Media Heavyweights Accused of Sexual Misconduct Since Harvey Weinstein

Mira Sorvino Praises Her Father After He Threatens to Kill Harvey Weinstein

Paul Sorvino on Harvey Weinstein: ‘I Will Kill the Motherf—er’ (Video)

Bids for the embattled Weinstein Company have been narrowed down to six, the highest among them coming in at under $500 million, a new report says.

Half that price is an assumption of debt, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday, and any new owner would not inherit the presumably massive legal liability stemming from lawsuits over Harvey Weinstein’s sexual misconduct while he ran the studio.

Lionsgate, Hollywood legacy and philanthropist Abigail Disney and former U.S. Small Business Administration head Maria Contreras-Sweet account for half the bidders, TheWrap previously reported.

Investment firms Vine Alternative and Shamrock Capital, as well as Christine Vachon’s Killer Content, are also in the race.

While bidders like Contreras-Sweet have pledged to keep the studio in tact and engage its nearly 200 employees, some bidders are hoping to extract library titles and breakout money makers like TWC’s television hit “Project Runway.”

In late December, a TWC insider said Contreras-Sweet would be preferable to, say, Lionsgate as the latter would likely absorb the most attractive parts of the company and dump the rest.

Shareholders are expected to come up empty handed, WSJ said, thanks to considerable existing debt and litigation, like two class action lawsuits in the works against former CEO Harvey. Moelis & Co. is handling the sale.

Complicating matters for TWC is its suffocating debt. Two individuals with knowledge of the situation told TheWrap the company’s estimated total debt is about $900 million, however insiders pegged it at closer to $300 million outstanding. TWC re-upped a $500 million senior credit facility with a variety of institutions last year, which carries a 4 percent interest rate. And the company is only releasing about six to eight movies a year.

TWC’s speciality label Dimension Films has stagnated while the sale gets underway. Production is wrapping for a Spring release of Robert De Niro’s “War With Grandpa.” There’s also the finished awards hopeful “The Upside,” starring Bryan Cranston and Kevin Hart, whose release was pushed after the October sexual harassment scandal ignited Hollywood.

Once a sale is complete TWC will rebrand and change its name, TheWrap reported in October.

Related stories from TheWrap:

74 Hollywood and Media Heavyweights Accused of Sexual Misconduct Since Harvey Weinstein

Mira Sorvino Praises Her Father After He Threatens to Kill Harvey Weinstein

Paul Sorvino on Harvey Weinstein: 'I Will Kill the Motherf—er' (Video)

Robert Rodriguez Denies ‘Mind Games’ With Rose McGowan – Here’s His Full Statement

Robert Rodriguez denies using Rose McGowan’s traumatic experiences with Harvey Weinstein as “a tool for mind games” while directing her in “Grindhouse.”

The accusation appeared in an excerpt from her upcoming memoir printed in Vanity Fair on Wednesday in which the actress said she “fell hard and fast” Rodriguez, but that she later saw the sale of “Planet Terror” to the Weinstein-owned Dimension Films as the ultimate act of cruelty and said Rodriguez “sold our film to my monster.”

In his response to TheWrap regarding the article, Rodriguez said: “It is unfortunate that Vanity Fair reporter Evgenia Peretz did not reach out to me for comment or clarification, even after my widely reported statement in October 2017 regarding Rose McGowan and Harvey Weinstein. It is deeply disappointing that the fact checkers at publishing house HarperOne did not reach out to me either. As a result, there are some key factual errors in the piece.

Also Read: Harvey Weinstein’s Hitlist for Investigators Included Rose McGowan, 90 Others (Report)

“These inaccuracies may appear to put me at odds with Rose, but I have no quarrel with her. It’s when publications don’t fact check these basic things, you end up with something inaccurate that then has to be disqualified,” he continued. “And I don’t want to have to disqualify it because I agree with what Rose is trying to do overall, which is continue to push for change both in our industry and beyond.”

In her upcoming book “Brave,” McGowan said Rodriguez filmed a scene in which Tarantino, playing a character in his movie, attacks McGowan’s character. “I was in a backward world,” she said. “I was losing my grip on sanity.”

In 2016, McGowan also said on Twitter that “my ex sold our movie to my rapist for distribution,” a statement widely believed to be about Rodriguez and Weinstein.

Also Read: Rose McGowan Docu-Series ‘Citizen Rose’ to Premiere This Month on E!

Because my ex sold our movie to my rapist for distribution #WhyWomenDontReport

— rose mcgowan (@rosemcgowan) October 14, 2016

However, Rodriguez states: “I did not sell the movie to the Weinsteins, they had a first look on my next project, and I owed them two more after that.  (‘Grindhouse,’ ‘Spykids 4’ and ‘Sin City 2’ fulfilled my obligations to them.)”

He went on to say, “The scene described in the Vanity Fair article where the rapist taunts the character played by Rose (before she turns around and stabs him in the eye and kills him) was in every draft of the script since the first draft issued to cast and crew dated January 24, 2006. Furthermore, that very scene wasn’t even filmed until 5 months later, on June 28, 2006.

“Again, if there was any objection to the scene there was plenty of time to address it. It was never brought up as being an issue. In fact, the point of the scene was always to be empowering because it’s when her character turns the tables against her oppressors.”

Also Read: Rose McGowan: I Was Offered $1 Million to Remain Silent on Weinstein Abuse (Report)

Representatives for Vanity Fair and HarperOne did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.

Read Rodriguez’s full statement below, which includes his recollection of when McGowan first told him that Weinstein had blacklisted her.

It is unfortunate that Vanity Fair reporter Evgenia Peretz did not reach out to me for comment or clarification, even after my widely reported statement in October 2017 regarding Rose McGowan and Harvey Weinstein. It is deeply disappointing that the fact checkers at publishing house HarperOne did not reach out to me either.  As a result, there are some key factual errors in the piece.

These inaccuracies may appear to put me at odds with Rose, but I have no quarrel with her. It’s when publications don’t fact check these basic things, you end up with something inaccurate that then has to be disqualified. And I don’t want to have to disqualify it because I agree with what Rose is trying to do overall, which is continue to push for change both in our industry and beyond.

That said …

  • I did not sell the movie to the Weinsteins, they had a first look on my next project, and I owed them two more after that.  (Grindhouse, Spykids 4 and Sin City 2 fulfilled my obligations to them.)
  • I met Rose in April of 2005. The Weinsteins began funding Grindhouse by at least the first week of November of 2005 because I was shooting the fake Machete trailer for the film on November 16, 2005. I then started scouting locations and designing the production for Grindhouse with key crew members, hired and paid for by the Weinsteins, before Thanksgiving 2005.
  • Full preproduction on Grindhouse with the entire crew began on January 23rd 2006, and Principal Photography began on March 17, 2006. Rose began filming March 26, 2006. The point is that it was already an official Weinstein movie for at least 5 months before principal production even began on the Planet Terror segment of Grindhouse. There was certainly ample time for Rose to decide not to be in a film funded by the Weinsteins and reject the movie and the script before shooting ever began. And if she ever had a problem with making the movie for them I would have completely understood, changed the role, and cast someone else. 
  • The scene described in the Vanity Fair article where the rapist taunts the character played by Rose (before she turns around and stabs him in the eye and kills him) was in every draft of the script since the first draft issued to cast and crew dated January 24, 2006. Furthermore, that very scene wasn’t even filmed until 5 months later, on June 28, 2006. Again, if there was any objection to the scene there was plenty of time to address it. It was never brought up as being an issue. In fact, the point of the scene was always to be empowering because it’s when her character turns the tables against her oppressors.

I still stand by everything in my original statement from October:

As one of the first victims to come forward with stories of sexual assault by Harvey Weinstein, Rose McGowan is a very brave woman who I applaud for speaking out about Weinstein’s repulsive behavior.

Today over 50 remarkable women have come forward to detail the horrors they endured. This saga has been a watershed moment in our country, and now because of the courage of Rose and others, countless women who previously were unable to stand up and speak out against sexual abuse can do so without fear.

I have not previously discussed what I knew about the 1997 incident that Rose suffered in a hotel room during the Sundance Film Festival. I never wanted to do anything that jeopardized a legal settlement she entered into with Harvey Weinstein. Now that she’s able to tell her story, I want to provide an account of what I knew, when I knew it, and what I did about it.

I met Rose in Cannes on May 19, 2005, at an amfAR after party. “Sin City” had just screened at the Festival the night before. Rose and I were talking, and she told me she was a film noir fan and that she wished she could have been cast in “Sin City.” I asked her “Why didn’t you audition for it? You would have been terrific.” She said that she couldn’t because she had been blacklisted from working on any Weinstein movies. When I asked what she meant by that, and how could she possibly be blacklisted, she told me the horrifying story of what Harvey did to her seven years earlier.

My first reaction was one of shock. I recall clearly what I said next, “My God, why didn’t you say anything? People would have stood up for you! And where was your fiancé during all this? I would have at least beaten the crap out of Harvey if I had heard that.” Rose said they didn’t know what to do. She confided that a female attorney had told her that because she had done nudity in movies that no jury would believe her and that it would turn into a he said/she said case.

Rose told me that all she could do at the time was to get Harvey Weinstein to donate money to an abused women’s shelter and in return she had to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) that forbade her from talking about the horrific violation without being sued, and that she shouldn’t even be telling me. To add insult to injury, she told me that she was blacklisted from even auditioning for any Weinstein movies.

Incensed at what I heard, I told Rose that she was not blacklisted from MY movies and that Harvey couldn’t tell me who to cast. The reason was that Harvey didn’t work on my movies, I made movies all those years for Dimension and Bob Weinstein. So I explained that if I cast her in my next film, Harvey couldn’t suddenly tell me no, because my first question would be “Oh, really? Why can’t I cast her?” And I was sure he would not want to tell me why.

I then revealed to Rose right then and there that I was about to start writing a movie with Quentin Tarantino, a double feature throwback to 70’s exploitation movies, and that if she was interested, I would write her a BAD ASS character and make her one of the leads. I wanted her to have a starring role in a big movie to take her OFF the blacklist, and the best part is that we would have Harvey’s new Weinstein Company pay for the whole damn thing.

Just as I finished telling Rose this, I saw Harvey walking around the party! I called Harvey over to our table, and as soon as he got close enough to see that I was sitting with Rose, his face dropped and went ghostly white. I said, “Hey Harvey, this is Rose McGowan. I think she’s amazing and really talented and I’m going to cast her in my next movie.” Harvey then dribbled all over himself in the most over the top performance I’d ever seen as he gushed, “Oh she’s wonderful, oh she’s amazing, oh she’s fantastic, oh she’s so talented… You two should definitely work together.” And then he skittered off. I knew right then that every word Rose told me was true, you could see it all over his face.

I looked over at Rose. Her mouth was open, and her eyes were wide. “WOW. I’ve never seen that before,” she said. I then told her that if she wanted a role that I would write it for her and Harvey’s company would have to fund it. Rose agreed, and the deal was done. I found it so commendable that she was putting the incident behind her and moving forward with her career. I wanted to help. We had a plan, and more importantly, we had a mission.

Since the Weinstein’s had a first look at any project of mine or Quentin’s, I knew they’d never let this project go to another studio. Casting Rose in a leading role in my next movie felt like the right move to make at the time – to literally make him pay.

But because of the NDA Rose told me she had signed, at Rose’s request I had to keep it quiet from everyone until now as to why we were even making that film together, especially Harvey. We knew that strategically we couldn’t rub it in his face why we were REALLY doing this movie, because then he’d just bury the movie, not sell it well, and everyone would lose. To our horror, Harvey buried our movie anyway, and because we did not want to risk getting sued, we never spoke publicly about the matter. It would have been much easier on both of us if we could have just revealed why we were doing it.

Even after 12 years, I will never forget sitting with Rose at that party and instantly getting inspired to create a bad ass female action heroine who loses her leg and transforms into a superhero that rights wrongs, battles adversity, mows down rapists, and survives an apocalypse to lead the lost and weary into a land of hope; all with a crackling, retro B-movie aesthetic. I’ll admit it felt really good at the time to realize we could use our art form to help Rose right a serious wrong in both how he victimized her years earlier, but also what Harvey was doing to a wonderful actress by blacklisting her and keeping her from working with filmmakers that would have wanted to work with her. At the time, it was the only thing we could do.

With great understatement, I have to say that it was a long hard road to get that movie made. And even though “Grindhouse” received great reviews, Rose got terrific notices, and the film is still a fan favorite today… it was heartbreaking to see Harvey simply bury the movie for its release.

Until now, I’ve not been able to say anything about it out of respect for the NDA Rose had signed under extreme pressure from Harvey. I am still haunted and disillusioned that after all the good intentions, immense pain and struggle Rose and I and so many talented people went through to make the film, that Harvey Weinstein won in the end by burying the movie just because Rose was the lead actress.

It’s been really difficult to admit and come to terms that the NDA handcuffs forced us to needlessly jump through hoops that today would have been unnecessary because of Rose’s fearlessness to speak out, despite the consequences. I hope that new legislation will result in NDAs to be legally null and void in situations where rape and assault have been committed and where power is so unequally distributed.

Looking back over the years, I have wondered if I would have made the same choices, knowing the bleak outcome. We all suffered greatly on the film, and the journey ended up costing us all more than we ever bargained for. For me personally, it cost me my marriage of 16 years, my family, a large dose of sanity, and for years I have grappled with the sobering idea that maybe I made a grave error in standing up at all, when no one was even asking me to. I know that’s not the message I’d ever want to send out, but it’s been hard to justify something that now is clear was a lose/lose situation from the get-go, and that in the end failed and simply caused more damage. The reason I’m saying this is because it’s very clear to me now that when someone does what Harvey Weinstein did, the devastation goes far beyond predator and victim.

These past few weeks have given me new clarity and hope by seeing the tide finally turn, seeing Harvey finally on the run, and seeing all the brave women who have come forth with their own shocking and distressing stories of abuse. Since I’ve seen a distinct lack of stories coming from men who may have tried to do the right thing, I wanted to come forth to say that no matter the consequences, no matter how far you have to stick your neck out, no matter what you have to lose, that we must fight the good fight. Everyone has to make a stand and take action.

Speaking out is not nearly enough. Even catching someone in the act right away and calling them out as soon as possible is still not nearly enough. What I’ve learned from my own experience is that we as a society need to do a hell of a lot more about prevention. Once someone like Harvey Weinstein strikes, the waves, ripple effects, and the collateral damage that takes place are far-reaching, unstoppable, and unending. Once a predator strikes, it’s simply too late. We have to stop these actions from happening to begin with through education, harsher consequences, and zero tolerance. We must ensure that justice is served and demand cultural change in our country so that this never happens again.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Tucker Carlson Defends Matt Damon, Says Media Fears Rose McGowan

Meryl Streep Answers Rose McGowan’s Slam Over Harvey Weinstein: ‘It Hurt’

Amber Tamblyn to Rose McGowan: It’s ‘Beneath’ You to Shame Women Who Try to ‘Create Change’

Robert Rodriguez denies using Rose McGowan’s traumatic experiences with Harvey Weinstein as “a tool for mind games” while directing her in “Grindhouse.”

The accusation appeared in an excerpt from her upcoming memoir printed in Vanity Fair on Wednesday in which the actress said she “fell hard and fast” Rodriguez, but that she later saw the sale of “Planet Terror” to the Weinstein-owned Dimension Films as the ultimate act of cruelty and said Rodriguez “sold our film to my monster.”

In his response to TheWrap regarding the article, Rodriguez said: “It is unfortunate that Vanity Fair reporter Evgenia Peretz did not reach out to me for comment or clarification, even after my widely reported statement in October 2017 regarding Rose McGowan and Harvey Weinstein. It is deeply disappointing that the fact checkers at publishing house HarperOne did not reach out to me either. As a result, there are some key factual errors in the piece.

“These inaccuracies may appear to put me at odds with Rose, but I have no quarrel with her. It’s when publications don’t fact check these basic things, you end up with something inaccurate that then has to be disqualified,” he continued. “And I don’t want to have to disqualify it because I agree with what Rose is trying to do overall, which is continue to push for change both in our industry and beyond.”

In her upcoming book “Brave,” McGowan said Rodriguez filmed a scene in which Tarantino, playing a character in his movie, attacks McGowan’s character. “I was in a backward world,” she said. “I was losing my grip on sanity.”

In 2016, McGowan also said on Twitter that “my ex sold our movie to my rapist for distribution,” a statement widely believed to be about Rodriguez and Weinstein.

However, Rodriguez states: “I did not sell the movie to the Weinsteins, they had a first look on my next project, and I owed them two more after that.  (‘Grindhouse,’ ‘Spykids 4’ and ‘Sin City 2’ fulfilled my obligations to them.)”

He went on to say, “The scene described in the Vanity Fair article where the rapist taunts the character played by Rose (before she turns around and stabs him in the eye and kills him) was in every draft of the script since the first draft issued to cast and crew dated January 24, 2006. Furthermore, that very scene wasn’t even filmed until 5 months later, on June 28, 2006.

“Again, if there was any objection to the scene there was plenty of time to address it. It was never brought up as being an issue. In fact, the point of the scene was always to be empowering because it’s when her character turns the tables against her oppressors.”

Representatives for Vanity Fair and HarperOne did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.

Read Rodriguez’s full statement below, which includes his recollection of when McGowan first told him that Weinstein had blacklisted her.

It is unfortunate that Vanity Fair reporter Evgenia Peretz did not reach out to me for comment or clarification, even after my widely reported statement in October 2017 regarding Rose McGowan and Harvey Weinstein. It is deeply disappointing that the fact checkers at publishing house HarperOne did not reach out to me either.  As a result, there are some key factual errors in the piece.

These inaccuracies may appear to put me at odds with Rose, but I have no quarrel with her. It’s when publications don’t fact check these basic things, you end up with something inaccurate that then has to be disqualified. And I don’t want to have to disqualify it because I agree with what Rose is trying to do overall, which is continue to push for change both in our industry and beyond.

That said …

  • I did not sell the movie to the Weinsteins, they had a first look on my next project, and I owed them two more after that.  (Grindhouse, Spykids 4 and Sin City 2 fulfilled my obligations to them.)
  • I met Rose in April of 2005. The Weinsteins began funding Grindhouse by at least the first week of November of 2005 because I was shooting the fake Machete trailer for the film on November 16, 2005. I then started scouting locations and designing the production for Grindhouse with key crew members, hired and paid for by the Weinsteins, before Thanksgiving 2005.
  • Full preproduction on Grindhouse with the entire crew began on January 23rd 2006, and Principal Photography began on March 17, 2006. Rose began filming March 26, 2006. The point is that it was already an official Weinstein movie for at least 5 months before principal production even began on the Planet Terror segment of Grindhouse. There was certainly ample time for Rose to decide not to be in a film funded by the Weinsteins and reject the movie and the script before shooting ever began. And if she ever had a problem with making the movie for them I would have completely understood, changed the role, and cast someone else. 
  • The scene described in the Vanity Fair article where the rapist taunts the character played by Rose (before she turns around and stabs him in the eye and kills him) was in every draft of the script since the first draft issued to cast and crew dated January 24, 2006. Furthermore, that very scene wasn’t even filmed until 5 months later, on June 28, 2006. Again, if there was any objection to the scene there was plenty of time to address it. It was never brought up as being an issue. In fact, the point of the scene was always to be empowering because it’s when her character turns the tables against her oppressors.

I still stand by everything in my original statement from October:

As one of the first victims to come forward with stories of sexual assault by Harvey Weinstein, Rose McGowan is a very brave woman who I applaud for speaking out about Weinstein’s repulsive behavior.

Today over 50 remarkable women have come forward to detail the horrors they endured. This saga has been a watershed moment in our country, and now because of the courage of Rose and others, countless women who previously were unable to stand up and speak out against sexual abuse can do so without fear.

I have not previously discussed what I knew about the 1997 incident that Rose suffered in a hotel room during the Sundance Film Festival. I never wanted to do anything that jeopardized a legal settlement she entered into with Harvey Weinstein. Now that she’s able to tell her story, I want to provide an account of what I knew, when I knew it, and what I did about it.

I met Rose in Cannes on May 19, 2005, at an amfAR after party. “Sin City” had just screened at the Festival the night before. Rose and I were talking, and she told me she was a film noir fan and that she wished she could have been cast in “Sin City.” I asked her “Why didn’t you audition for it? You would have been terrific.” She said that she couldn’t because she had been blacklisted from working on any Weinstein movies. When I asked what she meant by that, and how could she possibly be blacklisted, she told me the horrifying story of what Harvey did to her seven years earlier.

My first reaction was one of shock. I recall clearly what I said next, “My God, why didn’t you say anything? People would have stood up for you! And where was your fiancé during all this? I would have at least beaten the crap out of Harvey if I had heard that.” Rose said they didn’t know what to do. She confided that a female attorney had told her that because she had done nudity in movies that no jury would believe her and that it would turn into a he said/she said case.

Rose told me that all she could do at the time was to get Harvey Weinstein to donate money to an abused women’s shelter and in return she had to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) that forbade her from talking about the horrific violation without being sued, and that she shouldn’t even be telling me. To add insult to injury, she told me that she was blacklisted from even auditioning for any Weinstein movies.

Incensed at what I heard, I told Rose that she was not blacklisted from MY movies and that Harvey couldn’t tell me who to cast. The reason was that Harvey didn’t work on my movies, I made movies all those years for Dimension and Bob Weinstein. So I explained that if I cast her in my next film, Harvey couldn’t suddenly tell me no, because my first question would be “Oh, really? Why can’t I cast her?” And I was sure he would not want to tell me why.

I then revealed to Rose right then and there that I was about to start writing a movie with Quentin Tarantino, a double feature throwback to 70’s exploitation movies, and that if she was interested, I would write her a BAD ASS character and make her one of the leads. I wanted her to have a starring role in a big movie to take her OFF the blacklist, and the best part is that we would have Harvey’s new Weinstein Company pay for the whole damn thing.

Just as I finished telling Rose this, I saw Harvey walking around the party! I called Harvey over to our table, and as soon as he got close enough to see that I was sitting with Rose, his face dropped and went ghostly white. I said, “Hey Harvey, this is Rose McGowan. I think she’s amazing and really talented and I’m going to cast her in my next movie.” Harvey then dribbled all over himself in the most over the top performance I’d ever seen as he gushed, “Oh she’s wonderful, oh she’s amazing, oh she’s fantastic, oh she’s so talented… You two should definitely work together.” And then he skittered off. I knew right then that every word Rose told me was true, you could see it all over his face.

I looked over at Rose. Her mouth was open, and her eyes were wide. “WOW. I’ve never seen that before,” she said. I then told her that if she wanted a role that I would write it for her and Harvey’s company would have to fund it. Rose agreed, and the deal was done. I found it so commendable that she was putting the incident behind her and moving forward with her career. I wanted to help. We had a plan, and more importantly, we had a mission.

Since the Weinstein’s had a first look at any project of mine or Quentin’s, I knew they’d never let this project go to another studio. Casting Rose in a leading role in my next movie felt like the right move to make at the time – to literally make him pay.

But because of the NDA Rose told me she had signed, at Rose’s request I had to keep it quiet from everyone until now as to why we were even making that film together, especially Harvey. We knew that strategically we couldn’t rub it in his face why we were REALLY doing this movie, because then he’d just bury the movie, not sell it well, and everyone would lose. To our horror, Harvey buried our movie anyway, and because we did not want to risk getting sued, we never spoke publicly about the matter. It would have been much easier on both of us if we could have just revealed why we were doing it.

Even after 12 years, I will never forget sitting with Rose at that party and instantly getting inspired to create a bad ass female action heroine who loses her leg and transforms into a superhero that rights wrongs, battles adversity, mows down rapists, and survives an apocalypse to lead the lost and weary into a land of hope; all with a crackling, retro B-movie aesthetic. I’ll admit it felt really good at the time to realize we could use our art form to help Rose right a serious wrong in both how he victimized her years earlier, but also what Harvey was doing to a wonderful actress by blacklisting her and keeping her from working with filmmakers that would have wanted to work with her. At the time, it was the only thing we could do.

With great understatement, I have to say that it was a long hard road to get that movie made. And even though “Grindhouse” received great reviews, Rose got terrific notices, and the film is still a fan favorite today… it was heartbreaking to see Harvey simply bury the movie for its release.

Until now, I’ve not been able to say anything about it out of respect for the NDA Rose had signed under extreme pressure from Harvey. I am still haunted and disillusioned that after all the good intentions, immense pain and struggle Rose and I and so many talented people went through to make the film, that Harvey Weinstein won in the end by burying the movie just because Rose was the lead actress.

It’s been really difficult to admit and come to terms that the NDA handcuffs forced us to needlessly jump through hoops that today would have been unnecessary because of Rose’s fearlessness to speak out, despite the consequences. I hope that new legislation will result in NDAs to be legally null and void in situations where rape and assault have been committed and where power is so unequally distributed.

Looking back over the years, I have wondered if I would have made the same choices, knowing the bleak outcome. We all suffered greatly on the film, and the journey ended up costing us all more than we ever bargained for. For me personally, it cost me my marriage of 16 years, my family, a large dose of sanity, and for years I have grappled with the sobering idea that maybe I made a grave error in standing up at all, when no one was even asking me to. I know that’s not the message I’d ever want to send out, but it’s been hard to justify something that now is clear was a lose/lose situation from the get-go, and that in the end failed and simply caused more damage. The reason I’m saying this is because it’s very clear to me now that when someone does what Harvey Weinstein did, the devastation goes far beyond predator and victim.

These past few weeks have given me new clarity and hope by seeing the tide finally turn, seeing Harvey finally on the run, and seeing all the brave women who have come forth with their own shocking and distressing stories of abuse. Since I’ve seen a distinct lack of stories coming from men who may have tried to do the right thing, I wanted to come forth to say that no matter the consequences, no matter how far you have to stick your neck out, no matter what you have to lose, that we must fight the good fight. Everyone has to make a stand and take action.

Speaking out is not nearly enough. Even catching someone in the act right away and calling them out as soon as possible is still not nearly enough. What I’ve learned from my own experience is that we as a society need to do a hell of a lot more about prevention. Once someone like Harvey Weinstein strikes, the waves, ripple effects, and the collateral damage that takes place are far-reaching, unstoppable, and unending. Once a predator strikes, it’s simply too late. We have to stop these actions from happening to begin with through education, harsher consequences, and zero tolerance. We must ensure that justice is served and demand cultural change in our country so that this never happens again.

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Dimension/Weinstein Co.’s ‘Polaroid’ Pulled From Thanksgiving Weekend Release

Dimension Films has pulled the horror film “Polaroid” from its Thanksgiving weekend release spot, leaving The Weinstein Company with no films remaining on its 2017 slate after the studio pulled the Benedict Cumberbatch film “The Current War” from the same release frame two weeks ago.

Both “Polaroid” and “The Current War” are currently listed for an unspecified release date in 2018, but for now, The Weinstein Company will focus on staying afloat in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein sexual misconduct scandal that resulted in the firing of its disgraced co-founder and the resignation of over half of its  board of directors.

Also Read: UK Police Widen Harvey Weinstein Investigation: 11 Sexual Assault Claims

Directed by Lars Klevberg, “Polaroid” tells the story of a high schooler who discovers an old Polaroid camera with a dark secret: Whoever gets their picture taken with the camera soon meets a grisly death. “Polaroid” was set for a Nov. 22 release date on Oct. 4, one day before The New York Times published the expose that began Weinstein’s downfall, one that continued on Monday with the Producers Guild of America’s decision to ban Weinstein for life.

With the removal of those two films, Disney/Pixar’s “Coco” remains as the only major Thanksgiving weekend release. Other films that had been slated for that weekend but have since been moved include Annapurna/MGM’s Eli Roth-directed remake of “Death Wish,” and STX’s “Molly’s Game,” which will receive a limited release at Christmas and will be the directorial debut of Aaron Sorkin.

Related stories from TheWrap:

UK Police Widen Harvey Weinstein Investigation: 11 Sexual Assault Claims

Producers Guild of America Bans Harvey Weinstein for Life

Gawker Founder Nick Denton on Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Etc.: We Told You So

Dimension Films has pulled the horror film “Polaroid” from its Thanksgiving weekend release spot, leaving The Weinstein Company with no films remaining on its 2017 slate after the studio pulled the Benedict Cumberbatch film “The Current War” from the same release frame two weeks ago.

Both “Polaroid” and “The Current War” are currently listed for an unspecified release date in 2018, but for now, The Weinstein Company will focus on staying afloat in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein sexual misconduct scandal that resulted in the firing of its disgraced co-founder and the resignation of over half of its  board of directors.

Directed by Lars Klevberg, “Polaroid” tells the story of a high schooler who discovers an old Polaroid camera with a dark secret: Whoever gets their picture taken with the camera soon meets a grisly death. “Polaroid” was set for a Nov. 22 release date on Oct. 4, one day before The New York Times published the expose that began Weinstein’s downfall, one that continued on Monday with the Producers Guild of America’s decision to ban Weinstein for life.

With the removal of those two films, Disney/Pixar’s “Coco” remains as the only major Thanksgiving weekend release. Other films that had been slated for that weekend but have since been moved include Annapurna/MGM’s Eli Roth-directed remake of “Death Wish,” and STX’s “Molly’s Game,” which will receive a limited release at Christmas and will be the directorial debut of Aaron Sorkin.

Related stories from TheWrap:

UK Police Widen Harvey Weinstein Investigation: 11 Sexual Assault Claims

Producers Guild of America Bans Harvey Weinstein for Life

Gawker Founder Nick Denton on Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Etc.: We Told You So

‘Amityville: The Awakening’ Made Just $742 This Weekend, One of the Worst Openings of All Time

Jennifer Jason Leigh and Bella Thorne star in the long-delayed sequel.

Have you heard of “Amityville: The Awakening?” Neither has anyone else, it seems, as the latest installment in that strangely long-lasting horror franchise made just $742 in 10 theaters this weekend, ranking it among the poorest openings ever.

There are a few reasons for that, however. The film, which stars Jennifer Jason Leigh and Bella Thorne and was filmed in 2014, was released for free on Google Play a few weeks back; it’s also making its way to Blu-ray and DVD next month. That, combined with essentially zero advertising, explains how it averaged just $74 per theater.

Released by Dimension Films — the genre wing of the Weinstein Company, whose future is uncertain in the wake of the ongoing Harvey Weinstein scandal — “The Awakening” is the 10th installment in the “Amityville” series and a direct sequel to the original film. Like a lot of horror movies of late, it completely ignores every other sequel made before it.

Rose McGowan Tweets Cryptic Image From Her Movie ‘Phantoms’: ‘This Is When It Happened’

Actress Rose McGowan shared a photo from her 1998 Miramax film “Phantoms” to Twitter, saying cryptically that she was filming the project “when it happened.”

While it’s unclear what she’s referring to, for the last week, McGowan has used the social platform to accuse producer Harvey Weinstein of raping her in 1997.

“This is the movie I was filming when it happened. I played a 16 year old,” McGowan wrote on Monday with a still from the film. Actress Joanna Going (“Mad Men”) appears with her in the image.

“Phantoms” was directed by Joe Chappelle and starred Ben Affleck, who McGowan told to “f— off” last week shortly after the actor shared his disgust a flood of accusations of abuse lodged against Weinstein by the stars of his movies, staffers and other women.

Also Read: Rose McGowan Twitter Suspension Sparks #WomenBoycottTwitter Protest

Also starring Peter O’Toole and Liev Schreiber, “Phantoms” followed a snowy mountain town possessed by an evil spirit. It was produced by Miramax and distributed by its imprint Dimension Films in ’98, when The Walt Disney Company owned both.

Reps for Dimension Films did not immediately return TheWrap’s request for comment. TheWrap tweeted McGowan for clarity.

McGowan has previously said that Weinstein attacked her in a hotel room at the Sundance Film Festival in 1997, and subsequently reached a financial settlement to resolve the issue. “Phantoms” hit theaters the following year.

Last week, Weinstein was fired from The Weinstein Company and is under criminal investigation in New York and London after several women came forward to accuse him of sexual misconduct, including harassment and rape.

A representative for Weinstein has stated, “Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein. Mr. Weinstein has further confirmed that there were never any acts of retaliation against any women for refusing his advances.”

This is the movie I was filming when it happened. I played a 16 year old. pic.twitter.com/EbsjH92Wde

— rose mcgowan (@rosemcgowan) October 17, 2017

Related stories from TheWrap:

Rose McGowan Twitter Suspension Sparks #WomenBoycottTwitter Protest

Rose McGowan Clarifies: Harvey Weinstein ‘Raped Me’

Why Did Rose McGowan Get Suspended on Twitter?

Actress Rose McGowan shared a photo from her 1998 Miramax film “Phantoms” to Twitter, saying cryptically that she was filming the project “when it happened.”

While it’s unclear what she’s referring to, for the last week, McGowan has used the social platform to accuse producer Harvey Weinstein of raping her in 1997.

“This is the movie I was filming when it happened. I played a 16 year old,” McGowan wrote on Monday with a still from the film. Actress Joanna Going (“Mad Men”) appears with her in the image.

“Phantoms” was directed by Joe Chappelle and starred Ben Affleck, who McGowan told to “f— off” last week shortly after the actor shared his disgust a flood of accusations of abuse lodged against Weinstein by the stars of his movies, staffers and other women.

Also starring Peter O’Toole and Liev Schreiber, “Phantoms” followed a snowy mountain town possessed by an evil spirit. It was produced by Miramax and distributed by its imprint Dimension Films in ’98, when The Walt Disney Company owned both.

Reps for Dimension Films did not immediately return TheWrap’s request for comment. TheWrap tweeted McGowan for clarity.

McGowan has previously said that Weinstein attacked her in a hotel room at the Sundance Film Festival in 1997, and subsequently reached a financial settlement to resolve the issue. “Phantoms” hit theaters the following year.

Last week, Weinstein was fired from The Weinstein Company and is under criminal investigation in New York and London after several women came forward to accuse him of sexual misconduct, including harassment and rape.

A representative for Weinstein has stated, “Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein. Mr. Weinstein has further confirmed that there were never any acts of retaliation against any women for refusing his advances.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

Rose McGowan Twitter Suspension Sparks #WomenBoycottTwitter Protest

Rose McGowan Clarifies: Harvey Weinstein 'Raped Me'

Why Did Rose McGowan Get Suspended on Twitter?

‘Scream’ Star Skeet Ulrich Calls Harvey Weinstein ‘Deplorable’ (Video)

A leading man from “Scream,” the iconic slasher movie from Bob Weinstein’s Dimension Films, spoke out on the Harvey Weinstein sexual misconduct scandal currently rocking Hollywood.

Skeet Ulrich, who played Billy Loomis in the 1996 Wes Craven project, visited TheWrap Studios on Monday where he discussed the decades-long rape and sexual harassment charges Harvey is facing.

“I think its deplorable, and I think any person with a conscience is relieved that it’s finally come out and he’s facing justice,” Ulrich told host Stuart Brazell.

Also Read: Producers Guild Votes Unanimously to Terminate Harvey Weinstein’s Membership

“If we could push that to our presidency as well, that would be great,” Ulrich added.

“Scream” was a genre sensation that spawned three sequels and went on to gross nearly $540 million total for Dimension at the worldwide box office, according to The Numbers.

Ulrich costarred in the film with Rose McGowan, one Harvey’s accusers and arguably the most vocal among dozens of women who said the mogul assaulted them. Additional “Scream” stars include Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox and David Arquette.

Ulrich is currently guest starring on The CW’s “Riverdale,” as a gang leader on the edge of a small town.

Watch the full interview above.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Screenwriter’s Harvey Weinstein Confession: ‘Everybody-F—ing-Knew’

Gretchen Carlson’s Lawyer: Harvey Weinstein Can Be Sued by Employees He Never Targeted

Here’s Who Can Sue Harvey Weinstein – and Who Can’t

A leading man from “Scream,” the iconic slasher movie from Bob Weinstein’s Dimension Films, spoke out on the Harvey Weinstein sexual misconduct scandal currently rocking Hollywood.

Skeet Ulrich, who played Billy Loomis in the 1996 Wes Craven project, visited TheWrap Studios on Monday where he discussed the decades-long rape and sexual harassment charges Harvey is facing.

“I think its deplorable, and I think any person with a conscience is relieved that it’s finally come out and he’s facing justice,” Ulrich told host Stuart Brazell.

“If we could push that to our presidency as well, that would be great,” Ulrich added.

“Scream” was a genre sensation that spawned three sequels and went on to gross nearly $540 million total for Dimension at the worldwide box office, according to The Numbers.

Ulrich costarred in the film with Rose McGowan, one Harvey’s accusers and arguably the most vocal among dozens of women who said the mogul assaulted them. Additional “Scream” stars include Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox and David Arquette.

Ulrich is currently guest starring on The CW’s “Riverdale,” as a gang leader on the edge of a small town.

Watch the full interview above.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Screenwriter's Harvey Weinstein Confession: 'Everybody-F—ing-Knew'

Gretchen Carlson's Lawyer: Harvey Weinstein Can Be Sued by Employees He Never Targeted

Here's Who Can Sue Harvey Weinstein – and Who Can't