October 19, 2017

Not to diminish his many crimes, but this lawsuit against Harvey Weinstein over some dumb cartoon movie I’d never heard of is hilarious. “Film executive doesn’t understand animation!” is sort of a given, but seeing the sheer incompetence detailed and laid out like this is illuminating. Some gems:

114. During this important meeting, Harvey Weinstein proceeded to fall asleep.

115. In fact, at this same meeting, and with his children present, Harvey Weinstein
attempted to consume an entire bowl of M&M candies despite being diabetic. When a TWC
executive sought to retrieve the bowl of candy out of obvious concern for Harvey Weinstein’ s health,
he fought to keep it, and in the tumult the M&Ms ended up scattered all over the floor. Then, instead
of watching the reel, Harvey Weinstein got down on his hands and knees and began eating M&Ms
off the floor.

145. Leech discussed the significant complications in using William Shatner as the voice
of Scorch Supernova, even if Mr. Shatner would have been interested in the role at a price that the
production could afford. In particular, the Creative Team did not want Scorch Supernova to
resemble Buzz Lightyear from the movie Toy Story. Plaintiffs explained that they could not use
William Shatner because the character Buzz Lightyear was in fact a caricature of Captain Kirk, and
the voice Tim Allen used for Buzz Lightyear was intended as a comedic impression of Mr. Shatner’s

146. Weinstein appeared to understand. Nevertheless, after watching the story reel,
Weinstein stated in words or substance that “I love it. It’s great, and it will be even better when you
fix the character to look like Shatner.”

151. Moreover, despite Alec Baldwin’s having already turned down the role of Agent
Shanker, Harvey Weinstein sought to secure his services by offering less money than was first

152. TWC’s “strategy” was to reach out to Alec Baldwin through his publicist, as opposed
to his actual agent, Bryan Lourd, who is one of the preeminent agents at Creative Artist Agency, the
most powerful agency in Hollywood. Considering that Alec Baldwin had already rejected the
project, it was unsurprising that he turned it down again when TWC offered the role (a) for a second
time, (b) through Mr. Baldwin’s publicist, and (c) for less money.

159. Instead, at Harvey Weinstein’s direction, TWC proceeded to re-cast the entire movie.
To give just one egregious example, TWC determined that the Kevin Bacon deal — for $50,000 and
modest upside — was too expensive. TWC’s solution was to cut Kevin Bacon and then pay him
$25,000 not to be in a movie that he had agreed to do for $50,000. Such financially backward
decision making was standard operating procedure at TWC in connection with Escape.