The Weinstein Company board of directors fired one of its founders, Harvey Weinstein, effective immediately on Sunday, four days after a New York Times investigation uncovered accusations of rampant sexual harassment by Mr. Weinstein and at least eight settlements paid to women.
It was an escalation from Friday, when one-third of the all-male board resigned, and the members who remained announced that Mr. Weinstein would take a leave of absence while an outside lawyer investigated the accusations.
In an interview on Sunday, Lance Maerov, one of the four remaining board members, said it has been brought to their attention that Mr. Weinstein violated the company’s code of conduct at some point in the past week. But he would not specify what the violation was. The statement announcing the firing said that the decision had been made “in light of new information about misconduct by Harvey Weinstein that has emerged in the past few days.”
Mr. Maerov said that Mr. Weinstein was notified by email on Sunday night of his termination from the company he helped found. The action was taken by Mr. Maerov, Bob Weinstein, Richard Koenigsberg and Tarak Ben Ammar. A fifth board member, Paul Tudor Jones, resigned on Saturday.
The sexual harassment accusations uncovered by The Times stretched back decades. The actress Ashley Judd recalled him summoning her to his hotel room in the late 1990s for a work meeting where he asked if he could massage her and if she would watch him shower. Other complaints came from former employees of the Weinstein Company and its predecessor, Miramax. In 2015, a junior executive filed a searing memo with top executives at the company accusing Mr. Weinstein of rampant misconduct.
In response to the Times report, Mr. Weinstein said, “I appreciate the way I’ve behaved with colleagues in the past has caused a lot of pain, and I sincerely apologize for it.” But he also threatened to sue for defamation, and his legal adviser, Lisa Bloom, said he “denies many of the accusations as patently false.” (On Saturday, Ms. Bloom resigned.)
For the past week, many women in Hollywood, frustrated with an industry that seems to perpetually sexualize and mistreat women, were watching closely to see where the Weinstein revelations would lead. “I see this as a tipping point,” Jenni Konner, executive producer of the HBO series “Girls,” said on Sunday night. “This is the moment we look back on and say, ‘That’s when it all started to change.’”
The firing of Mr. Weinstein by his own company, Ms. Konner said, “is going to scare any man in Hollywood using his power for anything but making movies and television.”
The board’s statement was succinct. “In light of new information about misconduct by Harvey Weinstein that has emerged in the past few days, the directors of the Weinstein Company — Robert Weinstein, Lance Maerov, Richard Koenigsberg and Tarak Ben Ammar — have determined, and have informed Harvey Weinstein, that his employment with the Weinstein Company is terminated, effective immediately.”