Disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein has denied American actor Lupita Nyong’o’s accusation in a New York Times op-ed that he made unwanted sexual advances towards her. “Mr. Weinstein has a different recollection of the events, but believes Lupita is a brilliant actress and a major force for the industry,” Weinstein’s representative told Entertainment Weekly. “Last year, she sent a personal invitation to Mr. Weinstein to see her in her Broadway show Eclipsed.”
In an article on October 19, the Academy Award-winning actor accused the producer of putting her in an awkward position by making her give him a massage under the pretext of watching a screening of his film. She added that he made an unwanted sexual advance by offering to help her in her career. “I have felt sick in the pit of my stomach,” she wrote. “I have felt such a flare of rage that the experience I recount below was not a unique incident with me, but rather part of a sinister pattern of behavior.”
Weinstein’s history of predatory sexual behaviour was first exposed by a New York Times investigation and later by a New Yorker story. He has been ousted from his company and has been stripped of his membership of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Among his long-time acquaintances, who claims that he did not react on time to rumours about Weinstein’s behaviour, is Quentin Tarantino.
“I knew enough to do more than I did,” the acclaimed filmmaker told New York Times. “There was more to it than just the normal rumors, the normal gossip. It wasn’t secondhand. I knew he did a couple of these things...I wish I had taken responsibility for what I heard. If I had done the work I should have done then, I would have had to not work with him.” The filmmaker further stressed the need for better treatment of women in Hollywood and said that Weinstein needed to “face the music”.
Weinstein has distributed most of Tarantino’s films like Reservoir Dogs (1992), Pulp Fiction (1994), the Kill Bill franchise (2003-2004), Inglourious Basterds (2009) and The Hateful Eight (2015).