Sharon Waxman, the CEO and founder of The Wrap, once worked for The New York Times. And back in 2004, she says, she worked on a similar story to the one the Times published recently, detailing the decades-long history of sexual misconduct by movie producer Harvey Weinstein.
The difference was, Waxman’s editors forced her to cut out those allegations in her story.
In a piece for The Wrap, Waxman explains how she traveled to Italy in 2004 to meet a man named Fabrizio Lombardo. Lombardo was in charge of Miramax Italy, only he had no film experience. Instead, the rumor went that his entire job was to hook Harvey Weinstein (co-founder of Miramax) up with women. Specifically, Lombardo supposedly had connections to Russian escorts.
On top of that, Waxman writes that she found a woman who had been paid off by Weinstein to keep quiet after he sexually harassed her. While she remained anonymous, this still meant that Waxman had evidence of a pay-off.
But then Weinstein heard about the story.
Weinstein stormed into the NYT newsroom and demanded the story be cut. And after that, plus phone calls from actors Matt Damon and Russell Crowe defending Lombardo, The New York Times, that bastion of journalistic integrity, caved. Waxman was forced to gut her story, so that it was a tiny news post buried in the Culture section about an Italian executive (Lombardo) getting fired from Miramax.
Flash forward to now, with Waxman heading up her own site and the Times finally publishing the takedown piece on Weinstein. After the impact of their investigation into Weinstein, The NYT published a story about how Weinstein’s “media enablers” should be ashamed of themselves. Waxman remembers that they’re one of them.
Note: An earlier version of this post incorrectly listed George Clooney among the actors who made calls in defense of Lombardo.