While The New York Times may have broken the story on Harvey Weinstein’s history of sexual harassment accusations, one former Times reporter is now saying the paper could have exposed the sins of the Hollywood titan over a decade ago.
Sharon Waxman, the former Times journalist in question, wrote a first-person piece for The Wrap asserting that no news outlet was willing to drop the hammer on Weinstein’s record of sexual misconduct — not even the Times.
In 2004, Waxman began investigating the unpleasant rumors about Weinstein that many apparently talked about behind closed doors, but never published. The then-Times reporter attempted to change that, tracking down Weinstein’s shady procurer and finding a woman who was paid-off to keep her mouth shut about sexual harassment at the hands of the film mogul. And yet, despite her work on the story, Waxman’s facts were never published by the outlet lauded by many as the pinnacle of journalism.
Instead, she writes that everyone from Matt Damon, to Russell Crowe, to Weinstein himself stepped in to personally ensure this story never saw the A1 pages — or any part of the paper for that matter. Waxman claims that her then-editor, the now-Bloomberg editor-at-large Jon Landman, ultimately shot down the damning piece and opted to run a story with no such allegations.
“I was told at the time that Weinstein had visited the newsroom in person to make his displeasure known. I knew he was a major advertiser in the Times, and that he was a powerful person overall… I explained, to no avail, that a public company would certainly have a problem with a procurer on the payroll for hundreds of thousands of dollars,” writes Waxman.
After going through all of this to expose Weinstein — just to have the Times’ run a similar investigation over a decade later made — one wonders if this story could have been handled years ago, before more women were victimized.
Ironically, a follow-up piece on Weinstein’s misconduct ran in the Times last week decrying the Hollywood celebrity’s “media enablers” — which, based on Waxman’s piece, included the Times until just last week.
[featured image via screengrab]
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