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Untouchable: The Rise and Fall of Harvey Weinstein

TVMucho Show of the week

Mon, August 26th, 2019

Wednesday 9pm – 10.35pm, BBC2

Harvey Weinstein was an extremely successful entrepreneur. With his brother Bob he co-founded the Miramax entertainment company and produced a series of award winning films including Pulp Fiction, Flirting with Disaster and Shakespeare in Love. During this period Weinstein won an Academy Award and several Tony’s for his professionalism. Upon leaving Miramax he again co-founded a company with his brother – the Weinstein Company, and for several years enjoyed further success with films.

On the surface, for many years Weinstein came across as ever the professional producer and director, many aspiring actors sought his friendship and guidance. What lay behind the scenes however would shock not only the USA but the world.

This documentary explores the meteoric rise and fall of the man. In October 2017, the New York Times and The New Yorker reported that more than a dozen women had accused Weinstein of raping, assaulting or sexually harassing them over a long period. This triggered a cascade of many other women coming forward and reporting similar experience with Weinstein. The accusations brought the media mogul down in spectacular style, he was fired from his own production company, suspended from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science, denounced by high profile leading figures and his wife georgina Chapman left him. Almost immediately the Los Angeles Police Department opened a criminal investigation into rape allegations, similar investigations were subsequently opened in New York and London. Weinstein was arrested in May 2018 and formally charged with rape, criminal sex act, sex abuse and sexual misconduct for incidents involving two separate women.

The documentary further investigates the shocking lengths Weinstein went to in an attempt to cover up his crimes, he appeared to show complete impunity for the horrific ordeals he had allegedly subjected women to. Insiders report he hired British-Israeli private investigators to intimidate and discredit victims. We also hear from women who were subject to his abuse as they come forward and tell their stories, these include Paz De La Huerta, Rosanna Arquette and Erika Rosenbaum.

While the whole case is shocking, the impact of it, supported by the #metoo campaign, precipitated a wave of reckoning across the US against sexual harassment, this was known as the Weinstein effect. This effect brought down many men in power who hid behind their public persona to commit atrocious crimes.

 

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