Ketchum 'looking into' partnership with Weinstein after harassment allegations surface

The Omnicom agency called sexual harassment allegations against the film studio boss "certainly troubling" on Thursday.

(This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license).
(This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license).

NEW YORK: Ketchum said on Thursday that it is "looking into" accusations of sexual harassment against entertainment mogul Harvey Weinstein only a week after announcing a deal with his film studio, The Weinstein Company.

The New York Times published on Thursday afternoon a bombshell story about sexual harassment allegations against Weinstein spanning almost three decades during his time at Miramax and The Weinstein Company.

Actress Ashley Judd, models, and other employees have accused Weinstein of improper behavior, according to sources and documents cited by the newspaper. The studio boss has settled eight lawsuits with women, according to the Times. He has taken a leave of absence from The Weinstein Company, according to several media reports.

"We just became aware of The New York Times article about Harvey Weinstein, and the allegations are certainly troubling," a Ketchum spokesperson said in a statement. "We are taking this very seriously and are looking into the matter."

Cheryll Forsatz, SVP of corporate comms at Ketchum, declined to comment on whether the firm will terminate the partnership. Other Ketchum executives did not respond to requests seeking comment.

Ketchum’s brand film division inked a production and distribution agreement with The Weinstein Company, announced last week, giving the firm access to the studio’s directors and producers. The division of Ketchum Sports & Entertainment is set to share client briefs for feature film, virtual reality, and series productions with The Weinstein Company for potential production and distribution partnerships. The two companies have partnered on projects for Lexus Short Films.

In addition to a team of high-powered lawyers, Weinstein engaged the services of Lanny Davis, former special counsel to President Bill Clinton, and Anita Dunn, former White House communications director for President Barack Obama, before the Times posted Thursday’s article, according to BuzzFeed.

Weinstein told the Times in a statement, "I appreciate the way I’ve behaved with colleagues in the past has caused a lot of pain, and I sincerely apologize for it. Though I’m trying to do better, I know I have a long way to go."

A Weinstein Company representative could not be immediately reached for comment.

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