In House - The FindLaw Corporate Counsel Blog

How Is the Weinstein Company Handling Damage Control?

Like any person with self-respect, companies don't like having to play the role of the embarrassed friend that "doesn't even know that person." What's worse is when that person is a founder, or just known as a public representative, of the company.

Along those lines, the Weinstein Company had to enter damage control mode after a New York Times article last week detailed a storied past of the company's co-founder, and former Hollywood mogul, Harvey Weinstein. Allegations of sexual harassment against Harvey Weinstein that span decades were revealed. Within a few days of the news report appearing, the Weinstein Company had fired Harvey, despite his issuing an apology and promising to get the help he needs and make things right.

Does Public Perception of Leadership Really Matter?

If you don't want to believe that the public's perception of a company's leadership matters, then you're likely alone. Good business leaders understand that companies are in unique positions to take leadership roles in society, and as such, the integrity of a business's leader truly matters.

For the Weinstein Company, taking the aggressive position of firing Harvey shortly after the allegations were revealed, particularly given that his statement seemed to give those allegations truth, shows the public that the company will not tolerate that behavior. Unfortunately, it was discovered that the company may have known all along. Notably, Harvey had hired a successful plaintiff side sexual harassment attorney to help coach him, and she quit after the allegations were revealed publicly.

How Far Away Can a Company Get?

When an incident, or investigative report, drags a company's leader's name through the mud, it can be doubly worse if the company and leader share a name. While it may be less than ideal, there are options for narcissistically named businesses.

For example, the Weinstein Company, which was founded by Harvey and his brother Bob, is considering a name change to further distance the company from the allegations against, and reputation of, Harvey.

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