Joseph Fiennes, a British actor, has disclosed how he confronted Harvey Weinstein in the 1990s and how his career was affected due to this incident. Fiennes stated that he met the disgraced film producer in a hotel room in 1998, soon after he had acted in two Oscar-nominated films, Shakespeare in Love and Elizabeth.
According to Fiennes, during the meeting, Weinstein offered him a five-picture contract with his company Miramax but the producer was in bullying mode, making it clear that he would be in charge. Weinstein also made it clear that if Fiennes refused the offer, his career would suffer.
Fiennes’ Response to Weinstein
Fiennes refused to accept Weinstein’s offer and walked out of the room, despite the fact that he knew he would face the consequences of rejecting the deal. “It was a bullying tactic that didn’t sit well,” Fiennes remembered. “The way he explained it was a shock to me. But I suddenly sat in the room very present, and happy and strong in myself to say, you know what, I’m not beholden to that. I’m stepping away.”
Fiennes was happy to not be a part of Weinstein’s “family”, even though he was aware that it would negatively impact his career.
Fiennes’ Career after the Encounter
Fiennes continued his acting career despite the setback that he faced after his encounter with Weinstein. He most recently appeared on TV in The Handmaid’s Tale, where he played the role of patriarch Fred Waterford, a character for which he was Emmy-nominated.
In 2020, Weinstein was found guilty of five felonies and sentenced to 23 years in prison. His conviction was a significant moment for the #MeToo movement, which highlighted the sexual misconduct of powerful men in the entertainment industry.
Joseph Fiennes’ encounter with Harvey Weinstein highlights the power dynamics that exist in the entertainment industry and the pressure that actors face to compromise their values and integrity in order to further their career.