On February 14, about 10 demonstrators protested near Gary Barber’s office in Century City at Spyglass Entertainment. Barber is the head of Spyglass Entertainment. The group was protesting on behalf of the victims of Harvey Weinstein. He was a Hollywood mogul who was accused of sexually assaulting and raping many women over the years during his career, and there were enough people behind those allegations that they formed the #MeToo movement. Following his company filing for bankruptcy, Weinstein was convicted of some of the accusations against him in court. He is currently facing prison time.
Who Is Gary Barber?
Barber was the CEO of MGM. He recently received a generous payout when he was removed from his position. In a multi-million-dollar acquisition deal, the former Weinstein Company was taken over by multiple parties. Although Lantern Entertainment held a majority share, Barber took over the TV and movie portions of the company. Since those were the components that were closely tied to Weinstein’s former string of alleged abuses, the victims hoped to see compensation from the new company.
Why the Group Protested
Weinstein’s former company went bankrupt, which means that his possible compensation for the victims remains unclear. According to the protest group, the victims had been patiently waiting for longer than necessary to be compensated. In the deal negotiations, Barber said that he would pay up to $50 million to the fund for Weinstein’s victims. Since that promise has not yet been upheld, the protestors sought to bring the issue to the public and put pressure on Barber to pay. They are frustrated and see the failure to pay as sending a message that sexual assault is acceptable for powerful people. According to a statement from the group, they said that money could not undo what had been done to the victims. They emphasized that it was a way to help the victims pay for some damages and to set a precedent in Hollywood that such behavior would not be tolerated in the future.
Peart’s Case Adds Fuel to the Fire
Lantern Entertainment, the other major figure in the Weinstein deal, is facing a lawsuit from Marvin Peart. In his lawsuit, he stated that he was the one who helped facilitate Lantern’s participation in the Weinstein deal and helped secure the terms. Peart said that he was promised a seat on the board and was also promised significant financial compensation. However, the promises that were made to him were not honored by Lantern. Peart said in the lawsuit documents that his exclusion from the deal was intentional and was institutional racism. Since he was not a Hollywood insider, he felt that that the exclusion was designed to keep him out and to reward people who were already in the inner circle. Since the deal was one of the biggest entertainment industry deals in recent years, Peart was outraged about the exclusion.
The combination of the lawsuit against Lantern and the protests against Gary Barber for failing to pay appears to be growing in intensity. The protest group said that it did not plan to back down from pressuring Barber to pay. It does not appear that Peart plans to drop his lawsuit and will continue to seek compensation. This is leaving people wondering what will happen to what was once the Weinstein Company and if Spyglass Entertainment will pay the victims to help protect the new company’s reputation.