The fate of the Weinstein Company is still up in the air, but the first reported bidder has emerged. And in a surprising twist, it’s a woman who seems to actually care about the physical and emotional wellbeing of other women.
Maria Contreras-Sweet, the former head of the Small Business Administration under President Barack Obama, submitted an undisclosed offer to buy the Weinstein Company, the Wall Street Journal reports. And she has a completely new vision for how the company will be run for anyone who wants to see the Weinstein Co. dead. She believes that “reorganizing the Company as a woman-led venture will be an inspiration to the industry” and the WSJ reports:
In the letter, Ms. Contreras-Sweet said she hopes to be executive chairwoman of a majority-female board heading Weinstein Co., which would be renamed. She also wants to set up a fund for victims of alleged sexual misconduct by the studio’s recently fired co-chairman Harvey Weinstein and a mediation process to reach settlements with them.
Attorney Gloria Allred also reportedly consulted with Contreras-Sweet on the mediation process and supports her offer, writing in a statement that it would be “very important to victims.” The majority of Contreras-Sweet’s investors, though unidentified in the letter, are said to be mostly women according to sources who know more about the proposal. She also wants to retain most or all of the company’s 157 employees and fully intends to keep the movie and television studio producing projects.
The WSJ reports that other possible bidders include Lionsgate, A&E, and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. In mid-October the private-equity firm Colony Capital was reportedly entering negotiations to acquire Weinstein Co. (and keep Bob Weinstein, who has now also faced sexual assault allegations, onboard to run the Dimension Films arm) but no deal was finalized. It’s important to note that Contreras-Sweet does not want to retain Bob Weinstein under her proposal.