Harvey Weinstein ‘Casting Couch’ statue unveiled ahead of Oscars

A statue of Harvey Weinstein near the Dolby Theatre during preparations for the Oscars in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, US March 1, 2018. (Reuters)

Harvey Weinstein won’t be going to Sunday’s Oscar ceremony, but the film producer’s presence is still being felt in Hollywood.

Los Angeles-based street artist Plastic Jesus on Thursday unveiled a statue called “Casting Couch,” depicting a life-size Weinstein, clothed in a bathrobe, sitting on a golden colored couch and holding an Oscar.

It was installed near the Hollywood venue where the Academy Awards ceremony will be held.

His representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the installation.

The accusations against Weinstein triggered a flood of allegations of sexual impropriety by other celebrities that have rocked Hollywood and dominated this year’s movie awards season.

Artist Plastic Jesus sits on his statue of Harvey Weinstein on a casting couch on Hollywood Boulevard near the Dolby Theatre during preparations for the Oscars in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, US March 1, 2018. (Reuters)

“Whilst many thought the ‘casting couch’ was a thing of the past it was clearly still a part of the Hollywood culture,” Plastic Jesus said in a statement on his Facebook page.

“Hopefully now in the light of recent allegations against many leading figures in Hollywood the industry will clean up it’s (sic) act,” he said.

Weinstein was one of the movie industry’s most influential men, powering independent movies such as “The King’s Speech” and “Shakespeare in Love” to Oscar best picture wins.

He was expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences last year and fired from his company, the Weinstein Company. The company said on Sunday it planned to file for bankruptcy.

The ‘Casting Couch’ statue followed the appearance in Los Angeles on Wednesday of billboards designed by street artist Sabo that accused the entertainment industry of staying silent about sexual misconduct.

Plastic Jesus said the Weinstein statue was a collaboration with the artist Joshua “Ginger” Monroe and took two months to produce. It was paid for by donations through their websites.

Plastic Jesus and Ginger were also responsible for producing naked statues of Donald Trump that appeared in various US cities in 2016, before he was elected US president.

Weinstein Co reaches deal

The Weinstein Co on Thursday reached a deal to sell assets to a group led by a former Obama administration official who plans to use a majority-female board to rebuild the Hollywood studio tarnished by sexual misconduct allegations.

In a statement, Maria Contreras-Sweet said she plans to launch a new company, save about 150 jobs, protect the small businesses that are owed money, and create a victims’ compensation fund that will supplement existing insurance coverage for those who have been harmed.

“This next step represents the best possible pathway to support victims and protect employees,” Contreras-Sweet, the former head of the Small Business Administration, said in the statement.

The Weinstein Company suffered a major blow after more than 70 women accused founder Harvey Weinstein, once one of Hollywood’s most influential men, of sexual misconduct including rape. Weinstein denies having non-consensual sex with anyone.

Last Update: Friday, 2 March 2018 KSA 04:29 - GMT 01:29

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Harvey Weinstein ‘Casting Couch’ statue unveiled ahead of Oscars
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