October 10, 2017
Mika Brzezinski said she’d back out of a three-book deal unless Harvey Weinstein resigned
by Taylor Sperry
“Morning Joe” co-host Mika Brzezinski announced on Saturday that she wouldn’t follow through on her three-book deal with Weinstein Books (a “joint venture with The Weinstein Company”) unless Harvey Weinstein resigned. At Publishers Weekly, John Maher reports that Brzezinski hasn’t responded publicly to the company’s decision to fire Weinstein the next day. Hachette Book Group, of which Weinstein Books is an imprint, has clarified that it will honor Weinstein authors’ contracts, which are formally with Hachette and not the Weinstein Company.
It’s unclear how many books are left on Brzezinski’s contract given her already prolific history with the imprint over the past seven years: In 2010, Weinstein Books published her memoir All Things at Once, and the imprint has since released Knowing Your Value: Women, Money and Getting What You’re Worth (2011); Obsessed: America’s Food Addiction — and My Own (2014); and Grow Your Value: Living and Working to Your Full Potential (2015).
The fact that at least two of Brzezinski’s books with Weinstein focus on female empowerment checks out, in a weird way.
According to the New York Times editorial board, Weinstein has established himself as something of a “liberal lion”—he was a major contributor to the presidential campaigns of both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, raised money for Planned Parenthood, and “helped endow a faculty chair at Rutgers University in Gloria Steinem’s name”—but he has also, per the allegations in last week’s bombshell report by Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey, been sexually harassing women for decades. The hypocrisy, even as we hover at the one-year anniversary of the news about then-candidate Donald Trump’s Access Hollywood tapes, is staggering.
While Jen Chung writes for Gothamist that Weinstein’s behavior has long been “an open secret” within the industry, and Weinstein himself knew that the Times story was coming, the producer nonetheless seems to have been, uh, caught with his pants down on this one. (Sorry, sorry.) He’s now threatening to sue the New York Times for breaching some sort of agreement they had about the report and issued a statement so baffling, the reader would be forgiven for wondering, “Did he… hit send too early?”
Correction: This piece has been updated to reflect Harvey Weinstein’s firing by the board of the Weinstein Company this past Sunday.
Taylor Sperry is a former Melville House editor.