On Feb. 14, 2020, the head of Spyglass Media Group, Gary Barber, found himself in the midst of a protest after a group advocating for the victims of Harvey Weinstein showed up at his offices. According to eyewitnesses, around 10 people were spotted protesting Barber’s offices in Century City.
The advocates say that they were protesting because Barber hasn’t paid any of the money that was promised after he purchased Weinstein’s company. As a result, the group showed up at his office to demand that he finally deliver the money.
Protesters Demand Action and for Barber to Do What’s Right
Barber took control of The Weinstein Company’s TV and movie assets in 2019 after entering a new partnership with Lantern Entertainment, which is the organization that purchased Weinstein’s company. Apparently, Lantern Entertainment completed the transaction in 2018 after The Weinstein Company declared bankruptcy.
According to protesters, Spyglass Media Group has yet to pay any money to victims. They’re referencing a proposed fund that was originally made for The Weinstein Company by an organization brought together by Maria Contreras Sweet, who was once an appointee in former President Barack Obama’s administration. The fund was said to include a reserve of between $30 million and $50 million for the sufferers.
During the protest, the advocacy group members called on the CEO of Spyglass Media Group to do what’s right for the Weinstein victims. They also pointed blame at Milos Brajovic and Andy Mitchell, who hold leadership positions at Lantern Entertainment, for not doing what’s right.
The group of protesters noted that actions speak volumes, and they’re sick of just hearing words. They want to see action taken. The victims of Weinstein have been more than patient. Now, it’s time for Brajovic, Barber, and Mitchell to uphold the promises that were made.
Furthermore, the group stated that nothing can take away the pain that Weinstein’s victims have experienced. The pain is immeasurable. The good faith that was offered was a nice gesture, but it seems that it was empty since it hasn’t been followed up with any financial payment.
More About Gary Barber
Barber was born in South Africa in 1957. He was once well known as the CEO and chairman of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. He’s also the co-founder of Spyglass Media Group and the current CEO. This film production company has helped make a number of motion pictures, including “Memories of Geisha,” “Seabiscuit” and “The Sixth Sense.”
In 2018, Barber parted ways with MGM, which resulted in the media company paying him nearly $260 million. This big payout came just months after it was reported that Barber was being fired. The company said that it was going to purchase his equity stake in the company, which was worth around $260 million. At the time of selling, he owned more than 274,000 shares of common stock in MGM.
When Barber was fired, he still had four years left on this original contract. The employees at the company said that he was very loved. He had helped turn the company around from bankruptcy, so they were shocked to hear that he was being fired.
Marvin Peart Files a Lawsuit Against Lantern Entertainment
The advocacy group’s protest isn’t the only thing that Barber has had to deal with. Lately, Lantern Entertainment has remained in the headlines for the wrong reasons. Documents filed at the Los Angeles Superior Court in 2018 show that Marvin Peart, an African-American producer in Hollywood, is accusing the film studio of foul play. The producer claims that the company was in breach of its contract because of fraud and negligent misrepresentation.
The documents say that Peart is seeking $110 million from Lantern Entertainment after he was allegedly excluded from The Weinstein Company dealings. Peart cites racism as one of the reasons he was cut from the deal and not given the chance to purchase the company.
On top of that, the Los Angeles filings claim that Peart was promised a spot on the board of the new organization. He was allegedly offered $10 million after bringing Lantern Entertainment in as a possible investor as well.
When opening up about the lawsuit, Peart slammed Lantern Entertainment. He said that they’ve not only failed to accurately compensate him for his services but also didn’t give him a seat on the board of directors. What’s worse, he noted, is that they’re trying to completely cut him out of the story as an outsider who was able to land the biggest deal of the year in Hollywood.
The lawsuit continues that what happened to Peart is more than just a matter of the damages suffered as the result of a breach of contract. It’s also the latest in a long line of African Americans who are being cheated out of being able to stand in the winner circle because of their race. It’s inexplicable, and the plaintiff won’t stand for it.
At the time of this writing, the court case between Peart and Lantern Entertainment is still pending.
Harvey Weinstein Found Guilty
The protest at Barber’s office occurred just before Weinstein was found guilty on Feb. 24. Five women and seven men convicted him of two out of the five charges of criminal sexual wrongdoing. As a result, he faces five to 25 years in jail.
The jurors found Weinstein guilty of forcibly engaging in oral sex on Miriam Haley, who was a former production assistant on Project Runway, in 2005. They also found him guilty of raping Jessica Mann, a hairstylist, in 2013. However, they acquitted him of three charges, one of which was predatory sexual assault.
During the trial, Weinstein insisted that all of the sexual acts he had been involved in were consensual. As a result, he pleaded not guilty to all of the charges. Donna Rotunno, his defense attorney, said that he was the latest victim of a growing number of overzealous prosecutions. The women who were claiming assault were, in fact, using him for a job.
Rotunno added during the trial that this script plays out with the powerful man being the villain. He’s so large and unattractive that there’s no way a woman would voluntarily sleep with him. In this script, regret doesn’t exist. Instead, regret is renamed as rape.
Joan Illuzzi-Orbon, the Manhattan assistant district attorney, painted a different story. She said that Weinstein was nothing more than a predator. He was using vulnerable and naive women. As a giant in the industry, he could pick up the phone and get you a job or make sure that you never work in the industry again.
Total, nearly 100 women came forward to accuse Weinstein of sexual misconduct and harassment. Some of those who stepped forward during this time included Gwyneth Paltrow, Asia Argento, and Rosanna Arquette. The flood of women who accused him of misconduct started the #MeToo movement.
Weinstein Set to Spend Time on Rikers Island
After being found guilty, Weinstein was sent to New York City’s Rikers Island, which has the reputation of being one of the worst prisons in the country. However, on the way to the prison on Feb. 25, his escort was diverted to a hospital for high blood pressure and heart palpitations. He’s still expected to spend time on Rikers Island until his sentencing hearing in March.