For most of Harvey Weinstein’s professional life, he was allegedly living like Caligula’s even grosser, less-consensual, more power-hungry cousin. Then October 2017 happened, and Harvey was publicly exposed by both The New York Times and The New Yorker. (Scooby-Doo villain voice) And he could have been exposed sooner if it wasn’t for those darn executives at NBC! At least according to The New York Times, that’s the case.
The NYT published a piece in which they accused NBC of actively working to make sure a Harvey exposé by Ronan Farrow never saw the light of day. NBC is shooting back, saying they absolutely never had such diabolical intentions.
Ronan worked on an exposé that eventually ran in The New Yorker. Right after it was published, The New York Times claimed that Ronan had originally been working on the piece while employed at NBC News (as commissioned by NBC News), then was told that his story would never run. NBC later canceled Ronan’s MSNBC show, Ronan Farrow Daily. According to sources within NBC, Ronan’s piece never happened because it wasn’t as complete as the piece he published with The New Yorker. Ronan denies there was any difference in what he worked on for NBC and what was eventually published with The New Yorker.
A few months ago, Rose McGowan chimed in, saying the reason NBC never aired Ronan’s exposé on Harvey was because she served Ronan with a cease and desist, based solely on the fact that she didn’t want her story gabbed about by Matt Lauer and the Today show crew.
Rose might think she had something to do with it, but the NYT doesn’t. They spoke to Rich McHugh, a producer who worked closely with Ronan during his time at NBC,who claimed he (Rich) was instructed by “the very highest level of NBC” to kill Ronan’s story. Rich says NBC was “resistant” during the months Ronan worked on his story, and calls NBC’s choice not to air it “a massive breach of journalistic integrity.” He also claims that NBC demanded Ronan cancel an interview with one of Harvey’s alleged victims.
“Three days before Ronan and I were going to head to L.A. to interview a woman with a credible rape allegation against Harvey Weinstein, I was ordered to stop, not to interview this woman. And to stand down on the story altogether.”
Ronan commented on Rich’s interview, calling rich a “fantastic producer and journalist,” and a “person of integrity.”
Based on Rich’s story, it sounds like NBC really didn’t want be the whistle blower. But NBC was quick to respond to The Times with their side. Deadline says NBC issued the following statement in which they basically call Rich a liar, and deny NBC deliberately killed the story:
“The assertion that NBC News tried to kill the Weinstein story while Ronan Farrow was at NBC News, or even more ludicrously, after he left NBC News, is an outright lie. In August of 2017, after NBC News assigned Ronan Farrow to investigate Weinstein and supported his reporting efforts for eight months, Farrow believed his reporting was ready for air. NBC disagreed because, unfortunately, he did not yet have a single victim of – or witness to – misconduct by Weinstein who was willing to be identified.
Dissatisfied with that decision, Farrow chose to leave for a print outlet that he said was willing to publish immediately. NBC News told him ‘we will not stand in your way,’ and allowed him to take his reporting to The New Yorker, where, two months later, he published a strong piece that cited the following victims by name: Asia Argento, Mira Sorvino, Rosanna Arquette, Lucia Evans, Emma de Canes, Jessica Barth, and Sophie Dix. Not one of these seven women was included in the reporting Farrow presented while at NBC News.”
Variety says that Rich McHugh has lawyered up. Rich left NBC two weeks ago for another job, which means he doesn’t have to worry about getting any dirty looks around the water coolers of 30 Rock. It also means NBC was denied a chance to throw Rich out of the building, a la Jazz from The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. I’m sure that’s definitely how they get rid of insubordinates.