In the Heights creators call on Weinstein Co. to drop movie musical
Now that Harvey Weinstein has been fired from The Weinstein Company, what will happen to all of the studio’s on-going projects? As journalists and critics begin questioning what might become of them, Quiara A. Hudes and Lin-Manuel Miranda are calling for The Weinstein Co. to drop the planned movie adaptation of their musical In the Heights in the wake of Weinstein’s laundry list of sexual harassment and assault allegations.
“As a woman, I can no longer do business with The Weinstein Company,” Hudes said in a statement published to social media. “To those women who suffered directly at Harvey’s hands, I extend my sincerest compassion and support. Unfortunately, my musical In the Heights is tied up in the company. In the Heights is part of my heart and soul. I created it about respect, community, and solidarity. I hope The Weinstein Company has enough grace, in the wake of these revelations, to respect my stand as a woman, and to allow us to extricate In the Heights from them. In the Heights deserves a fresh start in a studio where I’ll feel safe (as will my actors and collaborators).”
Hudes wrote the book for the 2008 musical, while Miranda composed the music and lyrics. The film version is currently in the pre-production stage with a screenplay penned by Hudes and the involvement of Miranda and stage producer Scott Sanders. Universal Pictures had been developing a film adaptation of In the Heights before The Weinstein Co. announced production last year.
Miranda reinforced Hudes’ stance on the matter by tweeting, “As usual, Quiara does the prose best. She speaks for us both.”
More and more women have been coming forward with other allegations of harassment and assault by Weinstein since The New York Times published an exposé on Oct. 5. Kate Beckinsale, Heather Graham, Cara Delevingne, Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie, Mia Sorvino, and Lauren Sivan are just a fraction of those who’ve shared their experiences.
Weinstein has denied those allegations in a statement released by his representative. “Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein. Mr. Weinstein has further confirmed that there were never any acts of retaliation against any women for refusing his advances. Mr. Weinstein obviously can’t speak to anonymous allegations, but with respect to any women who have made allegations on the record, Mr. Weinstein believes that all of these relationships were consensual. Mr. Weinstein has begun counseling, has listened to the community and is pursuing a better path. Mr. Weinstein is hoping that, if he makes enough progress, he will be given a second chance.”
“Harvey Weinstein’s sexual predation is despicable enough, but combined with his staggering power it’s insidious, even devilish,” Hudes’ statement continued. “Decades. He thrived on this. He built an empire on this. It’s been hard for me to sleep at night. My stomach is in knots. Forget the platitudes about ‘I have a daughter’ (which I do). I have friends, I have a mom, I am a woman. Harvey did not act alone. He had powerful enablers in his company and at the top tier of the criminal justice system.”
Hudes called out Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance by name and hoped for “an ethical investigation” into his “role in enabling Harvey Weinstein’s illegal behavior.”
Other films currently getting a release from The Weinstein Co. include The Current War with Benedict Cumberbatch, Intouchables with Kevin Hart and Bryan Cranston, and Mary Magdalene with Joaquin Phoenix and Rooney Mara.
In the wake of the Weinstein scandal, some television networks have begun dropping the studio’s title card from their series credits. According to Deadline and The Hollywood Reporter, Peaky Blinders, Project Runway, and Six are among them.