Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration has weighed in on the fate of the Weinstein Co., urging the bankruptcy judge who will preside over the sale to consider keeping its successor headquartered in New York City.
The Office of Media and Entertainment appealed to Judge Mary Walrath to weigh the importance of film and television industry to the city, noting it accounts for 130,000 jobs and infuses an estimated $9 billion to its economy.
“The Weinstein Co. has played an important role in that industry, and so I’m writing to respectfully request that the Court, when reviewing the bids, take into consideration a successor to The Weinstein Co. that will maintain its operations in New York City,” wrote the agency’s commissioner, Julie Menin, in a document filed today with the court.
The timing of the appeal comes head of Monday’s bid deadline. Some 60 potential buyers have expressed interest in the studio’s film and television assets, in addition to the existing offer from stalking horse bidder, Lantern Capital, a private equity firm based in Dallas.
Menin described her agency’s efforts to promote gender equality through initiatives focused on empowering women, such as a $5 million fund providing grants to female filmmakers. A public awareness campaign, titled “That’s Harassment,” dramatizes a problem that has been dominating the news since the Harvey Weinstein sexual misconduct allegations first surfaced last fall.
The Office of Media and Entertainment is working to address the under-representation of women in front of (and behind) the camera, and the paucity of leading roles for women — and especially women of color — in top-grossing films, Menin argues.
“We respectfully ask that your honor consider the above as you determine the disposition of The Weinstein Co.’s assets,” Menin said.