FD News: Harassment, $ hiking, and Hulu
Until yesterday, the casting couch was still very real for Harvey Weinstein
Yesterday, the New York Times broke a story years in the making. According to the report, Miramax maverick Harvey Weinstein has been fostering a sideline in sexual assault for over 30 years. The report says it better than we ever could (and is supported by on-record statements), and apparently the Miramax mogul has now lawyered up to fight the allegations. The investigation by the Times documented the many allegations via interviews with current & former employees and film biz folks, and by plundering legal records, emails, and internal communications from Miramax and the Weinstein Company.
After the allegations broke, Weinstein made a thoroughly odd statement to the press including a supposed quote from a famed NYC rapper – but which is actually nonexistent: “Jay Z wrote in 4:44 ‘I’m not the man I thought I was, and I better be that man for my children.’ The same is true for me.”
Since then, Weinstein has taken a leave of absence from the companies he founded, leaving Miramax potentially vulnerable to harassment suits.
Netflix and unchill new pricing
They might have coolified cocooning, but now Netflix are looking to cash in on their promise with a costly price hike. When we heard about Netflix taking on an additional billion or so dollars in debt earlier this year, we couldn’t help speculating what it would mean for its over 100 million subscribers. Netflix broke the tension yesterday by announcing they would be raising their prices by a whole dollar for its most popular streaming plan. To add insult to injury, they increased their already pricey family plan by $2.
Netflix, whose shares hit an all-time high Thursday, apparently committed around $6 billion this year to creating content – but with flops like The Defenders, Iron Fist, and Death Note we can only presume its algorithm isn’t as smart as they think it is. Their new binary rating system gets a big thumbs down from us; let’s hope they can iterate on the model with more fantastic shows like GLOW and Alias Grace. Remember: someone’s gotta pay for their swanky new Sunset Blvd. premises. Spare some couch quarters?
And finally some good news: LA Woman is coming to Hulu
Eve Babitz is the badass, stacked answer to “Mrs. Misery” Joan Didion. In the 1970s she ruled the Sunset Strip and was famous for dating a variety of eligible L.A. men, including Harrison Ford and Jim Morrison. Babitz introduced Frank Zappa to Salvador Dalí, and her agent calls her “F. Scott Fitzbabitz” – what’s not to love? After early stints as an album cover artist, bar hopper, and patron of the Chateau Marmont, she fell into writing, creating four magnificent opuses on living in Los Angeles, each a bittersweet ballad on loving the unwieldy and often unmanageable city its inhabitants.
It was announced earlier this week that Hulu is developing LA Woman, a single-camera dramedy based on all four of Babitz’s books to be run by Casual executive producer/showrunner Liz Tigelaar, directed by Lynn Shelton (Casual), and produced by Amy Pascal and Elizabeth Cantillon. We wait with baited breath and a shot of tequila for its release.