Two years ago, the New York Times published an investigation into Harvey Weinstein that helped spark the #MeToo movement. The story uncovered the alleged sexual abuse of actresses and employees of the former Hollywood movie producer that went on for decades, and the extent to which those allegations were covered up.
The details of how two reporters gathered the stories of Weinstein's victims are now shared in “She Said: Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement.”
New York Times investigative reporter Megan Twohey, who broke the story on Weinstein with fellow reporter Jodi Kantor, said she and Kantor wrote the book to give readers a behind-the-scenes look into reporting on Weinstein, but to also reveal a larger system in place.
“We wanted to write this book because in our first Weinstein story, we had been able to connect some of the dots of what had happened in this Hollywood producer’s alleged predation and how he was able to cover it up for decades, but in the course of reporting for this book we were able to bring together so many other pieces of the puzzle to really pull the curtain back on the machinery that was in place to silence women to an extent,” said Twohey, an Evanston native and former reporter with the Chicago Tribune.
But reporting on Weinstein didn’t come without challenges, Twohey said.
“Women were terrified to go on the record. We were running up against these secret settlements that literally prohibited many of Weinstein’s victims from talking to us. We came to realize that Weinstein was paying private investigators, actually former Israeli intelligence officials, hundreds of thousands of dollars to target offensive forces and even go after us as reporters,” she said.
But they remained motivated because “if we weren’t able to publish the truth then Weinstein would very likely go on to hurt other women,” she said.
Twohey joins us in discussion.