Harvey Weinstein is set to be the leading man in a feature-length documentary about his sex scandal that has engulfed Hollywood. The BBC is to lift the veil on Weinstein after more than 80 women accused him of various inappropriate behavior ranging from rape to sexual assault through to intimidation, bullying and strange showering habits.
Simon and Jonathan Chinn’s Lightbox is making the 90-minute film, which will be directed by Ursula MacFarlane, who has directed docs including Charlie Hebdo: Three Days That Shook Paris and worked on Netflix series Captive.
The film, which has the working title Weinstein, will aim to bring fresh insights and revelations to the story of Weinstein’s rise and fall as well as providing an account of one of the most far-reaching scandals in Hollywood’s history, one which is still developing. It will feature interviews with a number of the actresses who have told their stories.
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Some of the women who have come forward against Weinstein include Rose McGowan and Boardwalk Empire star Paz de la Huerta, who both alleged that Weinstein raped them, Asia Argento, who alleged that he forcibly performed oral sex on her, Salma Hayek, who claimed that he sexually harassed her and threatened to kill her during 2002 film Frida, and Ashley Judd, who was one of a number of actresses who said that he asked for erotic massages and to be watched showering.
Weinstein will also feature interviews with journalists, producers, directors,, agents, lawyers and others who have previously been unable or unwilling to talk publicly about Weinstein and the culture of fear and abuse that permeates Hollywood. It will also aim to tell a broader story of Hollywood, through the prism of the sex scandal, from the emergence of the studio system in the 1930s and chart Weinstein’s history in the business from the 1970s.
The doc will air on BBC Two and was commissioned by the BBC’s Head of Natural History and Specialist Factual Commissioning Tom McDonald, BBC Two Controller Patrick Holland and Commissioning Editor Simon Young. Academy Award-winning producer Simon Chinn, who was responsible for docs including Man on Wire and Searching For Sugarman, and Emmy Award-winning Jonathan Chinn will exec produce. Distributor Drive will sell internationally. It marks the latest feature-length doc for Channel 4-backed Lightbox, which recently made LA 92 for Nat Geo.
Simon Chinn and Jonathan Chinn said: “Through telling the story of Weinstein’s extraordinary rise and fall, this film will really get to the heart of the big questions that lie at the centre of the scandal: how did Weinstein get away with his behaviour for so long, what does his story reveal about how powerful men have operated in Hollywood and beyond and will this be a watershed moment in terms of the way women are treated in the workplace?”
McDonald added: “This film promises to be the definitive take on the Weinstein scandal. As well as revealing the inside story of the past few months in minute detail, it will also look to the past to tell the story of abuses of power within Hollywood since its very origins and chart the rise of Harvey Weinstein himself over many decades. This is a film which will ask difficult and challenging questions about complicity, the price of silence and the corrosive effects of power and I’m certain that Lightbox will bring their signature approach to this important subject.”
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