Yes, Bob, I’m talking to you. I read your interview in The Hollywood Reporter, and for the purpose of this letter I’m going to 100 percent take you at your word that: a) You had no idea your brother was a sexual predator for decades, using your business for his predation; b) You feel guilty and are tormented by what happened, literally calling it, “a walking nightmare;” and c) You want to save your company, for its employees and shareholders.
I have a simple plan that can be implemented in as little as one day that will help you with b and c. And it will make you a pioneer in changing Hollywood for the better, as you continue to make a profit.
Rename your company whatever you want, I’m pitching “SO NOT THE FRIGGING WEINSTEIN COMPANY” but that part is up to you.
But here’s the key to my deviously simple plan to save your soul and your company:
You only hire women directors for every film, TV or web project you make.
I know it sounds insane, but bear with me.
Part of why your brother was so successful at being such a monster is because the power structure in this town is extremely patriarchal. Nowhere is this more evident than in the most powerful job in town, that of directing, where women only helm 7 percent of feature films.
Creating an entire company where overnight the power structure has changed would both cleanse your soul and make you a lot of money.
I don’t mean hire more women directors, I mean hire nothing but women directors, no exceptions. All ladies all the time.
It’s both your reparation and your key to profit.
Movies that feature strong women characters statistically perform better at the box office. There’s a ton of stats on this, ask Nate Silver. (Here’s a link to an article he wrote analyzing 1,615 films over a 13-year period that proved conclusively that films featuring women have a better return on investment than films that feature men.) I promise you, women directors are almost always going to have strong female characters so boom, you’re automatically making more profitable movies.
And here’s a fun bonus, people might not hate you as much as they do now. You do know that they hate you, right?
If you want to argue that there aren’t enough qualified women to pull this off, I will note that you will have to hire some new and untested directors. Women with the same resumes as Quentin Tarantino or Kevin Smith, who were nobodies when you first distributed their films.
Remember what a good idea it was to work with those completely untested male directors back in the day? You’ll be doing the same thing now, but for women. I know it sounds crazy that an unproven woman might be as talented as an unproven man, or at least it probably would have sounded crazy to your brother, because Harvey Weinstein didn’t even consider women to be human.
Many powerful Hollywood men have recently reminded us that they are fathers of daughters, and therefore are able to understand that women are, in fact, people. So these new, untested directors you will be breaking are, wait for it, people! Humans, just like Quentin Tarantino and Kevin Smith.
Not everyone knows this, but you don’t actually need a penis to direct a feature film. I don’t have a penis and I’ve directed two of them. Honestly it’s no problem.
I know that over the decades you have distributed films by women directors, but the good news is that a number of the women your brother allegedly harassed or assaulted have become really good directors. Women like Sarah Polley, and Angelina Jolie might actually work with you if you did my plan with your new company.
But if you don’t do what I say, they won’t go near your new company, I’m guessing. I’m not saying you’ll never work in this town again, because that would be too ironic. And possibly accurate.
So there you have it. The power is in your hands. I mean, it always was, because you’re a powerful man in Hollywood, but now you can use that power to actually be the change you want to see in the world.
You can actually be a hero.
Or you can struggle along trying to convince everyone you’re not as evil as your brother.
I think my plan for you is better. You’re welcome.