Movie mogul Harvey Weinstein was recently convicted of third-degree rape and first-degree sexual assault. Numerous groups have formed to advocate for multiple victims. One of these groups recently participated in an active protest against Gary Barber, the head of Spyglass Entertainment. It is alleged that Mr. Barber promised to contribute money to a victim’s fund but never paid.
In 2019, Gary Barber took over the reigns of Weinstein’s company and became the leader of the film and television assets of The Weinstein Company. This formed a partnership with Lantern Entertainment. The fund that was proposed for the victims was set for between $30 and $50 million. However, the protesters argue that no monetary contributions have been put forth by Spyglass.
On February 14, 2020, 10 protesters filled the area around Barber’s office in Century City. This small group of people managed to grab great media attention. A statement was issued on behalf of the protesting group, which called on the entertainment company’s CEO along with Andy Mitchell and Milos Brajovic of Lantern Asset Management Leadership to do the right thing and to make amends to Weinstein’s victims. The protesters called for action from Barber and his affiliates. Instead of using words of promises, the protesters claim that now is the time to make good on the monetary offer. It was explained that nothing can erase the tremendous pain that was inflicted on the victims, but the monetary award would be a symbol that shows remorse for the terrible situations that involved Weinstein. Barber and his Spyglass Entertainment aimed to pay the money to offset the idea that he and his business have continued to profit from the exploitation of Weinstein’s name and affiliates without accounting for his heinous actions. However, the promise of funding appears to be empty.
It seems that this is not the only trouble brewing for the entertainment giant. In 2018, Lantern Entertainment was sued by Marvin Peart, a well-respected African-American Hollywood producer. His $10 million suit alleges that the company is guilty of breach of contract, fraud, and negligent misrepresentation. Peart proclaims that he was excluded from the deal that connected Weinstein and Lantern over “institutional racism.”
In the time that has followed the public protest against Gary Barber, there have been no moves to provide the funding to any of Weinstein victims. The victim’s compensation fund was intended to assist a wide circle of victims besides the people who may be ordered by the court to receive direct restitution from the shamed Hollywood heavyweight. The major advantage of the fund was to provide compensation to victims without the worry of holdups from a potential financial bankruptcy from Weinstein. In a sense, the fund that Spyglass Entertainment was proposing would offer protection to the victims. It remains to be seen if Barber will make good on his words and ante up any funding, but his delays are sure to keep angering victim supporters. It will add even more negative fuel to the fire against him and his production company.