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A Longtime Weinstein Employee Responds: ''Bully' is a step toward his own redemption'

Photo of Dana Harris By Dana Harris | Indiewire March 2, 2012 at 9:57AM

Longtime Weinstein exec Meryl Poster acknowledges that Weinstein has a "history of a bad temper" but "has made more progress on those weaknesses than anyone I know.... He feels BULLY is a step towards his own redemption.
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Harvey Weinstein and bullied student Alex Libby.
Harvey Weinstein and bullied student Alex Libby.

Yesterday, we republished former Miramax executive Mark Lipsky's post about the parallels between the upcoming TWC release "Bully" and Harvey Weinstein's own behavior. Wrote Lipsky, 

If Harvey has, in fact, reformed, he needs to come out and say so publicly. He needs to own his past behavior, admit to his addiction – bullying is an addiction, after all, both to power and dominance – and pledge to never bully anyone again. If he’s looking for ink and controversy (and he certainly is) there’s no more honest or powerful way for him and the film to get it.

Today, I received this letter from longtime Weinstein exec Meryl Poster, acknowledging that Weinstein has a "history of a bad temper" but "has made more progress on those weaknesses than anyone I know."   

Writes Poster, "He feels BULLY is a step towards his own redemption. He’s made a valiant effort for a significant amount of change in himself over the last 10 to 15 years. He looks at this film as one of the great causes of his life and hopes it will have the same effect on the audience."

We're giving her letter, which follows in full, the same space as Lipsky's. 

Dear Dana, 

To my dismay, I just read the letter posted on your site from my former Miramax co-worker Mark Lipsky regarding his opinion of Harvey and our documentary BULLY. As you know, I spent 15 years as the Head of Production at Miramax and currently am the head of The Weinstein Company Television division. I was lucky enough to spend most of my career growing and learning under Harvey and Bob’s leadership, and while I was there Mark was working in the theatrical

Harvey knows his own weaknesses as any great leader does and has made more progress on those weaknesses than anyone I know.

division. He later, like me and many others who get the chance to work with the Weinsteins, was given the chance to move up into a more prominent role as the Head of Distribution. Even after his departure from the company, Harvey and Bob continued to give him a chance and continued to support his endeavors bringing him on as a consultant from time to time (and of course Mark never resisted their help). Mark has a history of being bitter over the years since he’s parted from the company.

It’s unfortunate that he feels the need to publicly tear down Harvey whose history of a bad temper makes him an easy target. In script meetings, Harvey always wanted the heroes to have flaws. I know he has flaws, he knows he has flaws, but as a mentor, employer, father and arguably one of the film industry’s most prominent trailblazers, Harvey knows his own weaknesses as any great leader does and has made more progress on those weaknesses than anyone I know. As a public figure and more importantly as a father, he realizes how important the example he sets is.

I want to thank Mark, though, for bringing to everyone’s attention the correlation between BULLY and Harvey. Although his points are not at all true nor deserved by Harvey, he opened the door to give me this chance to speak on behalf of all of the Weinstein’s longtime employees about one of Harvey’s many intentions with the film BULLY. 

When Harvey took on BULLY, he told the filmmakers and the children about his own bad temper and history of taking it out on other people -- he even opened his argument to the MPAA with this fact.

When Harvey took on BULLY, he told the filmmakers and the children about his own bad temper and history of taking it out on other people -- he even opened his argument to the MPAA with this fact, as he and one of the film’s bullying victims Alex Libby pleaded for a fair rating. He told the filmmakers that while his main intention with the film is to produce an unprecedented amount of progress and forward thinking on what’s become a social crisis for children everywhere, he feels BULLY is a step towards his own redemption. He’s made a valiant effort for a significant amount of change in himself over the last 10 to 15 years. He looks at this film as one of the great causes of his life and hopes it will have the same effect on the audience. 

I hardly see Mark’s point in feeling the need to put this unnecessary negativity out in such a public way about a man who's known for raising millions for the Robin Hood Foundation, AMFAR, 9/11 victims, schools, libraries, the list goes on. Aside from charitable work, he has a huge heart and values family more than anything. When he learned of the devastating news that NYPD Office Peter Figoski lost his life in the line of duty, he was compelled to do something for the Figoski family and subsequently planned trips for them to the Super Bowl and the Academy Awards to give them something to look forward to and to enjoy with their family following a very difficult period for them. I personally have been the beneficiary at times of his generous counsel and support – something he provides to those in need more than anyone knows. In script meetings, Harvey always said he liked heroes that aren't too good, he liked flawed heroes. Well, Harvey is certainly flawed, but he is also a hero.

Mark, we hope you read this and would love to hear about all of the positive things you have been doing to better those around you and charities you are involved in. As Harvey says: stop criticizing, start doing. 

Sincerely,

Meryl Poster

The Weinstein Company
President, Television

Go HERE to read the Mark Lipsky post that inspired Poster to reply.

This article is related to: Harvey Weinsten, Bully