With its founder Harvey Weinstein fired and embroiled in a sexual harassment scandal, film production and distribution company the Weinstein Company has withdrawn from an LGBTI awards ceremony scheduled for late October.
Outfest, the nonprofit which produces the annual Los Angeles LGBTI film festival, was set to honor the 12-year-old Weinstein Company at its Legacy Awards ceremony scheduled to be held on 22 October in downtown Los Angeles.
The Weinstein Company was to receive Outfest’s Corporate Trailblazer Award in honor of its ‘innovative portrayal of the LGBT community in such films as Carol, The Imitation Game, Philomena, Bully, A Single Man, 3 Generations, and Transamerica,’ according to a 28 September press release.
‘No one more than Harvey Weinstein has made the case that movies and television matter, thanks to their power of reflecting lives and stories that allow humanity to rise above fears and prejudices,’ Outfest executive director Christopher Racster said at the time.
However, Buzzfeed reports the Weinstein Company withdrew from the ceremony on 6 October, a day after the New York Times published a story alleging founder Harvey Weinstein’s long history of sexual harassment.
In a statement, the Weinstein Company said, ‘Because we wholeheartedly support Outfest and its mission to preserve LGBTQ cinema, we have decided to withdraw from The Legacy Award at this time. We do not want to overshadow the extraordinary achievements of the other honorees.’
Racster responded by releasing this statement, ‘The LGBTQ community faces so much discrimination and harassment on a daily basis. Since its inception Outfest has stood for the dignity of each human being. Our programs — both on the screen and behind it — are about creating the change we want to see in the world where everyone is treated fairly, respectfully, and equally under the law.’
So, the annual Legacy Awards will go on as planned, just without Weinstein. Actress Rita Moreno and actress/activist Laverne Cox will be honored as scheduled.
‘Both of these women have fought and stood up for the basic human rights of all people to be treated fairly, especially within a culture in Hollywood that has at times discriminated against them,’ Racster said.
Individual tickets for the black-tie dinner and award ceremony start at start at $300 (€255, £228).
Harvey Weinstein and his brother Bob founded the Miramax film-production house in the late 1970s. The company produced hit films including Pulp Fiction, The Thin Blue Line, Sex, Lies and Videotape, Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!, The Crying Game and Clerks.
The brothers sold the company to Disney in 1993 but continued to run it until 2005, when they left to create The Weinstein Company.
In the video below, Weinstein talks about filmmaking: