Talk:Harvey Weinstein

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"Criticism of Weinstein" section[edit]

The material in this section, specifically regarding the criticism about their handling of Asian film is written in an extremely biased manner and is not befitting a Wikipedia entry. It completely understates the criticisms and inaccurately re-frames the issues. Regardless of whether or not you feel these criticisms are fair, they need to be reported accurately.

For example, framing Hero and Shaolin Soccer as "critical successes in Asia but had not been acquired for US distribution by any distributor until Miramax acquired them for US release", or along with the other Asian films that the Weinsteins (either as Miramax or TWC) picked up as "Asian films that were apparently not of interest to other US distributors" is wildly inaccurate.

For starters, both films specifically mentioned were worldwide box office successes, not just "critical successes in Asia", which implies that they are smaller, not commercially successful films. At the time of its release, Stephen Chow's Shaolin Soccer was the highest grossing film of all time at the Hong Kong box office, where it stayed until Chow's next film, Kung Fu Hustle, was released and it took the crown. Hero did $123,684,413 outside of the US. To put this in perspective, films that did similar business worldwide in a similar time period (I used films from 2002 - 2004 that were also box office successes in the US as I assume most reading this will be US based. Hero was released in the US in 2004 but worldwide 2002-2004.) were The Bourne Supremacy ($112M outside the US), The Polar Express ($124M outside the US), Lilo & Stitch ($127M outside the US), Bad Boys 2 ($134M outside the US), Kill Bill Vol. 1 ($110M outside the US), The Aviator ($111M outside the US), Collateral ($117M outside the US), Million Dollar Baby ($116M outside the US), My Big Fat Greek Wedding ($127M outside the US), the US remake of The Ring ($120M outside the US) and Chicago ($136M outside the US and a release that Miramax did $170M of biz with in the US in contrast to Hero which did $54M) not to mention any foreign films I did not include. None of these films are what anyone would consider small critical successes or would be referenced in that manner. This also illustrates Miramax's mishandling of these films, all of the films I compared with Hero were much more successful in the United States, and according to Box Office Mojo, Shaolin Soccer took in 98.9% of it's revenue overseas, which means during its theatrical release, Miramax (who did almost no promotion for the film and was only able to take in about $500K at the box office) only did a little more than 1/100th of what done in the rest of the world, an unusual statistic even for a small foreign arthouse film, let alone an action film with a huge buzz.

Also, there were plenty of other studios interested in these films and to say there weren't is a lie. Anyone logically knows that just because a studio picked up a film does not mean no one else was interested. While that could be true, more often than not, it just means that one studio won the negotiations or simply got there first, so to assume that these are "Asian films that were apparently not of interest to other US distributors" is, at best, quite a stretch. Miramax won the negotiations for these titles, it's as simple as that. At the time, Miramax were chosen largely because the Weinsteins were known for 1) getting good buzz for films, especially regarding awards and 2) paying quite a lot of money (overpaying?) to get what they wanted. Other studios, both major and independent, had interest in Asian films especially in this time period and specifically Hero and Shaolin Soccer, both of which had massive worldwide buzz and success. Sony had a huge hit with Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon two years prior to these films worldwide release (and 3 - 4 years before their American releases), and so the idea that no one was interested in Asian film before Miramax's involvement, which is what is implied by this language, is ridiculous. The filmmakers associated with both of these films now do the US (and worldwide) releases for their films through Sony. If only Miramax was interested in these films, why would Sony pick up Stephen's work despite Shaolin Soccer flopping here in the US and Hero performing under expectations (events that many observers not connected with the Weinstein's blame on their extremely poor handling of the films)?

The producers of Hero were upset by their handling of the film because Miramax was known for getting awards, but when the film was nominated for "Best Foreign Film" at the 2003 Oscars instead of doing the successful and well-known promotion to award voters they usually do to get their films votes, Miramax stopped all promotion for the film and the producers feel that lost them the award. In fact, many observers feel that Miramax's intentional mishandling of Hero and Shaolin Soccer is what stopped not only the individual success of these films, but the success of Asian film in general in US theaters, a trend foretold by the success of Crouching Tiger. Anyone seriously interested in Asian film knows all of this.

Also, framing the cutting and re-dubbing of Shaolin Soccer as "Shaolin Soccer specifically was re-dubbed into English (a very common occurrence for non-English films in the US) and the soundtrack was altered" is a major understatement. In regards to dubbing - it is a common occurrence both here and in the rest of the world, but people were more upset that the dubbing inaccurately told the story than just the simple fact that it was dubbed. But this is all a side issue because the major critique of their handling of the film (along with sitting on it for years and halting the distribution of the Hong Kong DVD in the US, effectively banning US viewers from seeing it) was that they cut actual content from the film, and even worse doing it in ways that made the film make less sense. To illustrate - one specific cut I saw during the US theatrical release of the film (after having already seen the Hong Kong release) was during an action sequence. In the original, Stephen's leg gets trapped by an opponent, then two other men kick his leg, and he cries out in pain. In the US release, they cut out the attack so it appears that he is crying out in pain for apparently no reason. Very disorienting, and it makes a film widely considered to be a great work look like an amateur production.

Moving along from these two films to Princess Mononoke, the language used here is so biased it borders on silly. To say that cutting the film, a film made by a filmmaker considered by people worldwide to be a genius (and this to be one of his best films), would "make it more marketable for the mutual benefit of the studio and the film's makers" is very much debatable. Some would say that having a studio head cut a film made by a master filmmaker would hurt the film and therefore make it less marketable. And for the sake of argument, let us suppose that these cuts would make it more marketable in the US (which unless you are psychic, we cannot know for sure), some would also say that making a great film less great for some possible short term financial gain would be a horrible idea.

Someone pointed out earlier in this talk page that although Harvey has a lot of critics, he has also done a lot of great things. That is very true. I suggest that they create another section for his well deserved accolades, instead of someone gutting the criticism section with incredibly biased language. I plan on updating this section and keeping an eye on it as well as this talk section, and I will eventually be including the recent renewed criticism they are bringing for the treatment of the Asian films released on the Dragon Dynasty label. I will be checking here to see if there are any reasonable objections as well. This has to have an unbiased POV and just state the facts.

Also, is this under Harvey's section and not Miramax and TWC for a reason? Maybe this should be a larger section on those pages,, with a smaller condensed version here and a link to the Miramax/TWC pages? Blashyrkh66 (talk) 00:03, 10 June 2009 (UTC)

Purchase by Disney[edit]

This page says that Disney purchased Miramax for $80 million, while the Miramax page says it was $70 miilion. Which was it? Nightscream 8.30.05. 8:19am EST

The exact terms of the deal were probably never released to the public so there's a lot of numbers out there, and it probably depends on what you decide to include or not:
  • New York Daily News, March 28, 2005, CLOSING BOOK ON MIRAMAX
    • "Disney bought Miramax for $70 million"
  • The Guardian, (London), October 1, 2004, "When Disney bought Miramax in 1994..." by Peter Biskind
    • "The deal was signed in the conference room of the Team Disney building. All told, it was worth something over $ 100m to Miramax."
  • The Daily Telegraph Mirror, July 8, 1995, "Masters of the Art House"
    • "They bought Miramax for a rumoured $85 million in cash"
  • Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, May 21, 1993, MICKEY AND GOOFY MEET THE CRYING GAME
    • "Disney is said to have paid close to the asking price ($ 80 million) for Miramax"
(done through Lexis-Nexis)
Jjjjjjjjjj 22:53, 6 January 2006 (UTC)

Couldn't you find it on some government website? Like the SEC or the IRS? Since Disney is a publicly traded company, they should have disclosed it somewhere... 68.238.118.253 (talk) 00:51, 8 October 2008 (UTC)

If not, the the material can simply quote the high and low ends of those figures, with something like "Sources place the purchase at somewhere between $70 and $100 million..." Nightscream (talk) 19:19, 25 October 2008 (UTC)

Proportionality[edit]

Weinstein has his detractors - that's for sure. But he is someone with considerable achievements just in terms of Oscar wins and nominations - and financial success. Yet the "criticism" section is larger than the details of his successful career. That is disproportionate in an encyclopedia article. He is clearly a volatile personality who has had several clashes with people - and those may be referenced - but this should be kept in proportion to his successes - otherwise the article will just become a place for detractors to list their complaints. Every successful executive in the entertainment industry makes enemies in taking decisions. A lot of the criticisms listed are not NPOV. Fans of Asian films that are obscure in the US - may be disappointed that those films were acquired and then delayed in release - but how important is that in the realm of an encyclopedia article? First of all - most US distributors completely ignored those films. Does THAT warrant criticism of those studios - and the executives who run those studios? Secondly ALL studios make and/or acquire films with the intention of releasing them and then change their minds and delay the release or cancel the release altogether. Should every single example of such day-to-day decision-making be listed in the article for each studio and the article about the head of each studio? Of course not. That doesn't happen. There is a double-standard being applied in this article that is disproportionate and inappropriate to an encyclopedia article. There needs to be work on this article. Not deleting things because they are not sourced. But deleting things because they are part of the minutiae of every notable entertainment executive and listing such things in massive detail just because it is sourced does not mean that it ALL belongs in this article. Davidpatrick (talk) 16:55, 23 November 2008 (UTC)

Okay, "detractor" definitely seems less neutral than "critic, so I reverted that. The opening passage of that section, in fact (which mirrors that of your post above) seems like an apologist statement or rationalization of some sort. It is only necessary to state what the criticism is. Rationalizing that criticism is leveled at any successful person is clearly POV, and arguably a violation of WP:SYNTH. Similarly inflammatory is the "slob and liar" line, so I removed that, unless it can be sourced to a specific page, passage or quote from the book. Nightscream (talk) 04:20, 24 November 2008 (UTC)

Anti-Catholicism : Controversy[edit]

Nothing about the virulent anti-Catholicism in several of Weinstein's films?? I think it certainly sdeserves a mention in the 'Criticism' section. [[1]] D323P (talk) 02:22, 26 November 2008 (UTC)

Weinstein isn't a filmmaker. He is a studio executive and sometimes a producer or executive producer. The company that he co-founded - Miramax - distributed some films that created controversy and raised the ire of some Catholics. Such info certainly belongs in articles about those specific films. If there are sources that indicate that Weinstein himself personally advocated or was a cause of alleged anti-Catholicism in those films - as distinct from the writers and/or directors - or personally made anti-Catholic statements then that would be relevant. The fact that a company he co-ran released films that some people thought were anti-Catholic is not itself relevant in his personal article unless it relates to him personally. Davidpatrick (talk) 04:44, 26 November 2008 (UTC)

Pronunciation[edit]

For both Harvey and Bob, shouldn't we note that it's "wein-steen", not "wein-stine"?[2] I would do the honors but I don't know how. Does anyone know the pronunciation codes? Wikidemon (talk) 20:07, 3 January 2009 (UTC)

Defense of Roman Polanski[edit]

if anyone has info, his absurd comments asking for Polanski release should be added.

I think Weinstein's advocacy for Polanski should be included, but some disagree. I've requested Third Opinion. Nightscream (talk) 00:22, 3 October 2009 (UTC)
I'd like to give a third opinion but it's difficult without knowing why this information was deleted. On the face of it, it should be included. It seems to be verifiable and notable. Yaris678 (talk) 07:35, 3 October 2009 (UTC)
OK. I've checked the reasoning given when it was deleted and here is my third opinion. The reason for deleting seems to be that it is not notable in this context - it should go in an article on Polanski's arrest, if at all. I disagree for the following reasons:
  1. Obviously we can't note every comment this guy has ever made but this one would be interesting to some readers interested in Weinstein - not just those interested in Polanski.
  2. The quote and associated links allow the reader to connect to the article on Polanski and read more if they want to - this is a big strength of Wikipedia.
  3. Weinstein is obviously an influencial figure and this establishes that he is prepared to use that influence - not just that he supports Polanski.
Keep the Polanski reference. Yaris678 (talk) 07:53, 3 October 2009 (UTC)

Unlike the case for other articles, the amount of criticism Weinstein has drawn, particularly for the "so-called crime" comment, coupled with his professional involvement with the Polanski documentary, probably justify specific mention of the matter in the "criticism" section of the article, or in an independent section. But it needs to be written carefully and to focus on the reaction, not principally on Weinstein's comments while giving no rationale for deeming the matter encyclopedically significant. I've just deleted a badly worked-up paragraph that didn't even mention any responses to Weinstein's comments, for these reasons. Hullaballoo Wolfowitz (talk) 04:32, 5 October 2009 (UTC)

It didn't mention any responses because no sources were provided for it, or even for this "so-called" comment of his. Without that, you can't put it in a "Criticism" section. But if you know of such sources (I was unaware he had even been criticized for it, aside from the decision of the editor who originally added that info to put it in that section), then by all means, add it. But even without material on the reaction to it, the advocacy itself is appropriate for inclusion, as it helps readers understand Weinstein's point of view, his personality/character, etc. Nightscream (talk) 22:12, 5 October 2009 (UTC)

Unbalanced[edit]

Everyone can see that the "Criticism" section is as long as the rest of article! Per WP:BLP I put {{unbalanced}} here and unless someone improve his real biography, I will edit (i.e. compress) the criticism section so that we can have a more balanced article. Grenouille vert (talk) 01:15, 14 November 2009 (UTC)

I tried to compress it a bit, and moved some passages that were more appropriate for other sections, but other than that, I don't know how else it can be edited down without removing valid material. Instead of making this section smaller, perhaps it would be a better idea to expanding other sections. The section on The Weinstein Company is tiny. Couldn't someone expand that? Nightscream (talk) 06:22, 16 November 2009 (UTC)

Escape From Planet Earth & Shakespeare In Love[edit]

It was in the news today that a lawsuit has been filed against Weinstein over a film in pre-production called "Escape From Planet Earth". And remember, Miramax was sued by four different people who had their scripts stolen to make "Shakespeare In Love". That's right, "Shakespeare In Love" is a composite of several different stolen scripts, all by different writers. And there was the Michael Moore "Fahrenheit 9/11" lawsuit. Perhaps the "Legal Section" should be expanded to especially reflect the legal entanglements of Weinstein in the movie industry. By the way, does anybody know how the copyright lawsuits over "Shakespeare In Love" turned out? Usually, when the plaintiff is awarded his settlement, part of the settlement is not to talk about the settlement. That's why we never hear how these things are eventually resolved. --Francis Walsingham 70.140.218.63 (talk) 03:50, 3 March 2011 (UTC)

    • My understanding is that there was an out-of-court settlement over "Shakespeare In Love" for a treatment called "The Dark Lady"; the folks who wrote "No Bed for Bacon" died; the lawsuit involving "As You Might Like It" (a 5 act stage play ripped off to make "Shakespeare In Love") was being bounced through the courts; and there were a couple other works that were ripped off to make "Shakespeare In Love", don't know what happened with them. 50.202.81.2 (talk) 22:22, 15 May 2017 (UTC)

Corky Burger[edit]

I grew up in the '70s in Buffalo and remember "Harvey and Corky" radio advertisements. Is "Corky Burger" listed in this article an actual person? Was "Bob Weinstein" also listed in this article also involved in that production? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 50.131.55.248 (talk) 08:52, 8 January 2013 (UTC)

The Intouchables in China[edit]

I read that the studio bought the rights for USA, Scandinavia and China. But I still don't find any information on a China release. Any news ? Late release, canceled ? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Loup Solitaire 81 (talkcontribs) 09:27, 19 May 2013 (UTC)