Working with Weinstein | Redbrick | University of Birmingham

Working with Weinstein

Following a recent Channel 4 documentary, TV's Kimberly Malek explores the abuse that Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein inflicted on his employees

Since the scandal in October last year it has become almost impossible to avoid the name ‘Weinstein’. With numerous Hollywood actresses speaking out about their experiences of sexual assault, harassment and rape by Miramax founder Harvey Weinstein, the public grew understandably outraged. The Channel 4 documentary Working with Weinstein that aired on the 20th February put a new twist on the Weinstein case focussing not on the accusations of Hollywood actresses, but on the treatment of male and female British employees of Weinstein.

The non-disclosure agreement became the first of many, in fact they became unavoidable within The Weinstein Company
The programme is narrated by a former employee, Zelda Perkins, who after being silenced for twenty years finally speaks out about her experiences with Harvey Weinstein. She details how she confronted The Weinstein Company regarding the alleged rape of a co-worker; rather than taking matters to the law, the company coerced her into signing a non-disclosure agreement and accept compensation, meaning she has been legally silenced ever since. Perkins thought her conflict would cause Harvey to stop his behaviour, yet this non-disclosure agreement became the first of many, in fact they became unavoidable within The Weinstein Company. The hour long documentary tells the tale of five other employees, all of whom suffered at the hands of one man. Laura Madden, an assistant and victim to Weinstein, became one of the first to speak out against him triggering a “wave of revelations across the globe”. Madden too, details how Harvey used his status, power and intelligence to manipulate and “bully” her eventually leading to her sexual assault. Both women, and others within the documentary, depict Weinstein as having two distinct personas. On one hand, he seemed full of knowledge regarding film, often charming and even comical. Yet on the other, he was aggressive, manipulative and hungry for dominance. This aggression not only manifested via sexual assault but physical violence also. The documentary shows how he physically bullied his employees with Perkins referring to him as a “black cloud” that hung above everyone’s head. David Parfitt, director of My Week with Marilyn, reveals how he was physically assaulted by Weinstein upon a disagreement about his film. Furthermore, Gaia Elkington describes how Harvey physically pushed her to the floor and fired her upon their first meeting deeming her a “mongaloid c**nt’.

He was aggressive, manipulative and hungry for dominance
Despite the wealth of accusations against Harvey Weinstein, he denies all allegations of non-consensual sex revealed in the documentary and remains legally unpunished. However, accusers and victims are working with lawyers to attempt to prosecute Weinstein for his unlawful and immoral behaviour. The UK Metropolitan Police specifically are working on fourteen allegations of sexual abuse against Weinstein and his companies. Furthermore, the #MeToo and ‘Times Up’ campaigns that have followed this scandal are giving people a voice and a chance to get justice that hasn’t been possible before. It is as lawyer Jill Greenfield closes the documentary with; “he may be a powerful man, but he is not above the law” and hence justice needs to be done.


23rd March 2018 at 9:00 am

Last Updated

23rd March 2018 at 9:20 am

Images from

Why Not Associates and Channel 4