As an emergency Board of Governors meeting of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences convenes today and as well as the Producers Guild to determine what actions they will take against former Miramax and TWC mogul Harvey Weinstein, the ITVFest taking place in VT today has added a new “emergency” panel discussion this evening: “The Elephant in the Room: Harvey Weinstein/A Dialogue on Changing the Myth of the Casting Couch.”
The panel, which was culled together at the last minute and is open to the press, was added in response to concerns from attending filmmakers after allegations from over 20 women — including actresses Rose McGowan, Gwenyth Paltrow, Kate Beckinsale, Rosanna Arquette and Angelina Jolie.
The discussion points will be how to confront bullying, whether the Unions can help, how to change the environment from casting couch to a professional working environment, documenting the incident and when to go public, creating a new era in this country post Weinstein, Bill Cosby and Amazon Roy Price sexual scandals. They will also speak about the impact to The Weinstein Co.
The ITVFest is the a public festival of the world’s independent television pilots, webseries and short films and brings together over 1,000 filmmakers, actors, writers, directors, producers, financiers, Hollywood executives and fans to relax and connect in the Vermont mountains.
This year’s speakers include a Keynote Address by Viacom Inc. President and CEO Bob Bakish; filmmaker Bobby Farrelly (Dumb & Dumber); Daily Show showrunner; author/journalist Dave Wedge (Boston Strong), and execs from HBO, BRAVO, Viacom, Raptor Films, Comedy Central, and TruTV.
The Elephant in the Room: Harvey Weinstein panel is taking place in downtown Manchester at Factory Point Place at 6 PM. The panel’s moderator is entertainment attorney/financial consultant Vinca Jarrett. Panelists expected to attend tonight are Steven Adams, Manager/Producer Head of Management & Partner, Buffalo 8; Sarah Beaulieu, Founder, The Uncomfortable Conversation, Inc.; Thea Dunlap, Producer and development executive, and Sundance veteran Leslie Durso, Chef/TV Personality.
“This critical topic has the ability to implode the Hollywood Culture of submission to bullies,” said Jarrett. “It could create a new mythology of empowerment for those with talent and a dream to pursue it without fear. Let this be the beginning of that change, and not just another sound byte moment.”
They are hoping the panel helps to glean advice from the industry execs already in attendance.