With the recent release of Peter Biskind’s Down and Dirty Pictures: Miramax, Sundance, and the Rise of Independent Film, Miramax boss Harvey Weinstein has been coming in for some serious bashing lately. It’s easy to take shots at Harvey: if ever there was a big, slow-moving fish in a barrell, it’s Miramax’s bully-boy king.
But what about Harvey the Nice Guy? Harvey who tackles even the smallest of tasks. Harvey who relieves his overworked underlings and does things like calling to ensure that packages made it to their recipients. Harvey who just called to say “I love you.”
To find that Harvey, you have to read Sharon Waxman’s article Lobbying for Golden Globes Is a Hollywood Ritual in today’s New York Times:
Three days before the close of voting on the Golden Globe nominations last month, the phone rang at the home of a member of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the people who vote on the awards.
“This is Harvey Weinstein,” said the voice on the other end of the line, the member said. “I’m calling about Bad Santa. ”
The member, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told the caller, who was the co-executive producer of that film and the Miramax co-chairman, “Mr. Weinstein, I loved the movie.”
“Oh,” came the reply, then a click.
If you think that sounds like Bad Harvey-style intimidation, you are wrong! Very wrong. According to Amanda Lundberg, a Miramax spokesperson quoted by Waxman, Harvey was just “confirming their receipt of late-arriving cassettes, which in our case was Bad Santa. If members told him what they thought of the movie, he didn’t ask for it. It was an unsolicited comment.”
Take that, Harvey haters! He was just being polite, on-the-ball, and decent. Why would we ever expect anything less from him?