The flailing Weinstein Co. announced today that it has received an emergency cash infusion from Colony Capital, and is in negotiations to sell “a significant portion” of its assets to the international investment firm. Mounting rape and sexual assault charges against co-founder Harvey Weinstein has left the brand increasingly radioactive, as companies reassess deals with the Weinstein Co.
Weinstein Co. board member Tarak Ben Ammar said in a statement that, “We believe that Colony’s investment and sponsorship will help stabilize the company’s current operations, as well as provide comfort to our critical distribution, production and talent partners around the world.”
Added Colony Capital founder and executive chairman Thomas J. Barrack, Jr. in a statement: “We are pleased to invest in The Weinstein Company and to help it move forward. We believe the company has substantial value and growth potential, and we look forward to working with the company’s critical strategic distribution and production partners to help preserve and create value for all stakeholders, including its employees. We will help return the company to its rightful iconic position in the independent film and television industry.”
Colony Capital’s cash infusion helps stabilize the company and, Weinstein Co., hopes it will help reassure wary distribution and production partners during a time of unprecedented upheaval.
Weinstein was fired by Weinstein Co.’s board last week, following a New York Times story which alleged for decades he had sexually harassed several woman—including actresses Ashley Judd and Rose McGowan—and paid some of them off. The company immediately began the process of removing his name from all of the TV shows he produced alongside his now-former company, including Project Runway on Lifetime, History’s Six, and a trio of projects for Paramount Network, which Spike will rebrand as in January.
Since then, the New Yorker published an explosive piece in which three women alleged that Weinstein raped them, while 10 others allege sexual harassment going back decades. The Times then published a follow-up story on Tuesday, with sexual harassment allegations from several more women, including Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie.
Almost daily since then, several more women have come forward with new allegations involving Weinstein. The company’s brand has become so toxic that the company decided on Friday that it would either be sold or shut down according to The Wall Street Journal. Bob Weinstein, Harvey’s brother and Weinstein Co. co-founder, called the report “untrue” in a statement Friday afternoon and said, “Business is continuing as usual as the company moves ahead.”
But business was clearly not continuing as usual, as was made clear Friday night, when Amazon Studios announced it was severing ties with Weinstein Co. on their two TV projects. Amazon—which Thursday night suspended chief Roy Price after a producer at the streaming service accused him of sexual harassment—pulled the plug on a drama from David O. Russell starring Robert De Niro and Julianne Moore, and will finish production on The Romanoffs (Matthew Weiner’s followup to Mad Men) without its former partner.
Showtime also indicated it might abandon the Guantanamo project it is developing with Weinstein Co. if the studio remains involved, telling Adweek Friday in a statement, “The project is in development and has not been greenlit yet. We do not intend to move forward with the current configuration of the project and are exploring our options.”
A Paramount Network spokesperson told Adweek on Friday that the network—which launches Jan. 18—is still moving forward with its three Weinstein Co. projects: Waco, a limited series about the FBI and ATF’s 1993 standoff with David Koresh; the drama Yellowstone, starring Kevin Costner; and a miniseries about Trayvon Martin, the unarmed high school student who was shot and killed by George Zimmerman in Sanford, Fla., in 2012. Waco has already wrapped production, while Yellowstone and the Martin miniseries have almost finished shooting.