Katz Banks Kumin partner Debra Katz was quoted in articles for both the Los Angeles Times and Variety Magazine, where she discussed the recent New York Times report detailing years of sexual harassment committed by Hollywood executive Harvey Weinstein. The independent film pioneer has settled at least eight harassment lawsuits over the years, according to the report.
Weinstein is a powerhouse in the entertainment industry, and these revelations uncover – once again – an industry that is oftentimes cruel and demeaning to powerless young women hoping to land a job or advance in their careers. In talking with the LA Times, Katz stated, “This is a really sickening abuse of power. Whenever he’s been called to account for it, Weinstein has paid for the problems to go away, but the company hasn’t addressed the problems.”
According to Ms. Katz, the Weinstein Company will simply be looking to survive through potentially more women coming forward with reports of Weinstein’s abuse, and scrutiny into whether the Company and its Board of Directors acted appropriately.
“His company is extremely vulnerable,” said Ms. Katz to Variety, “The board has been on notice that there is significant misconduct, settlement moneys have been paid, and there has been no corrective action.” Legally, victims could file a suit only if the alleged activity falls within the statute of limitations.
In terms of basic corporate responsibility however, the Weinstein Company’s response has been “wholly inadequate.” In her interview with Variety, Ms. Katz stated that the company needs “to bring in a credible outside entity to investigate,” and “employees need to be given really serious assurances that there will be no retaliation.”
Ms. Katz was also quoted in an article for Forbes, where she detailed the high costs that The Weinstein Company will incur from its internal investigation, and in a separate Los Angeles Times article on Rose McGowen's claims.