While dining with his sobriety coach at Elements, an Arizona luxury restaurant, on January 9, the infamous Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein was slapped by a patron. Weinstein was approached by a pair of men sitting adjacent to his table.
One of these men, known only as “Steve” explained that he’d requested a picture from Weinstein after confessing his love of cinema. Steve’s story indicates that Weinstein grew hostile and refused the offer. Conversely, Elements’ manager remarked that Weinstein maintained a kind temper and had merely told Steve that he was not interested in taking a photo.
Steve asked his friend to record the interaction with Weinstein and decided to ask the mogul for a photo once Weinstein chose to rise from his table, recorded happening around 9 p.m., in order to leave the establishment. The video showed a self-admittedly drunk Steve moving into close range with Weinstein and delivering two slaps to the man’s face while berating Weinstein for the countless allegations of abuse reported by female actors who worked with him.
In addition to a massive loss of good will among Hollywood, the October 2017 abuse scandal caused Weinstein to be fired from “The Weinstein Company,” the film studio he founded with brother Bob Weinstein; ejected from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences; suspended from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts; resigned from the Directors’ Guild of America and his second wife, Georgina Chapman, chose to separate after a decade of marriage. Over 60 women have come forth with allegations that Harvey Weinstein had made sexual advances against them. Weinstein has fervently denied any and all allegations of sexual activities being without consent.
In addition to The Weinstein Company, Harvey and Bob Weinstein were jointly responsible for Miramax Films. The allegations against Weinstein have directly inspired two elements in popular culture; “#MeToo” is a social media tag that abused women have rallied behind to show solidarity and the “Weinstein effect” is a expression used to describe the circumstance by which powerful men continue to remain powerful even after people come forth with allegations of criminal, immoral or unethical behavior. As a testament to Weinstein’s influence as a producer, his name came up in gratitude or praise 34 times in the 50 years of acceptance speeches given during the Academy Awards; a figure that makes him just as prominent as God and second only to Spielberg.