Is Ronan Farrow telling the truth about NBC stifling his Harvey Weinstein story? Farrow says the network decided not to air his exposé, which led Woody Allen's son to go to The New Yorker with the bombshell article instead.
The report appeared in the Oct. 23 issue of The New Yorker. It included quotes and shocking details from several of Weinstein's alleged victims, including aspiring actress Lucia Stoller, actress Asia Argento and model Ambra Battilana Gutierrez.
While the piece appeared in The New Yorker, Farrow had been working for NBC News. "You would have to ask NBC and NBC executives about the details," Farrow told Rachel Maddow about why NBC refused to run his report. "I'm not going to comment on any news organization's story that they did or did not run. I will say that over many years, many news organizations have circled this story and faced a great deal of pressure in doing so."
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) October 11, 2017
The Hollywood Reporter reported that Farrow's piece was initially supposed to air on NBC in February in the lead-up to the Oscars. But the site claims Farrow suddenly stopped coming into his office around the time his contract with the network was up. Insiders with the network also insist the report wasn't ready for publication at the time Farrow pitched it.
"[Farrow's] early reporting [did not] meet the standard to go forward with a story," a network source said. "[It was] nowhere close to what ultimately ran in The New York Times or The New Yorker — for example, at the time, he didn't have one accuser willing to go on the record or identify themselves. The story he published is radically different than what he brought to NBC News."
NBC News President Noah Oppenheim told a similar story to his employees. "We launched him on that story, we encouraged him to report that story. We supported him and gave him resources to report that story over many, many months," Oppenheim reportedly said in a staff meeting. "We reached a point over the summer where, as an organization, we didn’t feel that we had all the elements that we needed to air it."
Farrow, however, insists that the piece had all the same facts and quotes when he presented it to NBC. " I walked into the door at The New Yorker with an explosively reportable piece that should have been public earlier. And immediately, obviously, The New Yorker recognized that," Farrow told Maddow. "And it is not accurate to say that it was not reportable. In fact, there were multiple determinations that it was reportable at NBC."
Indeed, multiple sources told the Huffington Post that while working on the piece for NBC, Farrow got on-camera interviews with several accusers and audio tape of Weinstein admitting that he sexually assaulted Gutierrez. But NBC still refused to run the piece, and in August the network allegedly told him to stop reporting it entirely.
One of Farrow's on-camera interviews was with Rose McGowan. The New York Times reported that the actress agreed to a $100,000 settlement with Weinstein in 1997. However, insiders say McGowan refused to let NBC News air the interview because Weinstein's counsel told her it would violate the settlement agreement.
That hasn't stopped McGowan from tweeting about Weinstein, though. She has repeatedly called him out on social media and directly accused him of rape. It's unclear if this is a violation of her settlement agreement, or if she will be able to press charges against him again.
1) @jeffbezos I told the head of your studio that HW raped me. Over & over I said it. He said it hadn’t been proven. I said I was the proof.
â€” rose mcgowan (@rosemcgowan) October 12, 2017
Still, Farrow had plenty of other evidence against Weinstein when he presented his story to NBC. That has some wondering if NBC squashed the report because it didn't want to endanger its relationship with The Weinstein Company.
As Vox points out, men like Weinstein are often surrounded by enablers. It didn't help that many journalists had close relationships with the producer.
"There were a lot of people in the industry who had book deals — there was a reporter who had a documentary with Harvey," journalist Paula Froelich said. “Everyone had some sort of consulting deal — he would just pass them out willy-nilly."
Do you think NBC was worried about endangering its relationship with The Weinstein Company? Let us know your take in the comments section below.