Megan Twohey and Jodi Kantor Earned Weinstein Accusers' Trust With a Single Line

Screenshot: Today

Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey, the reporters who first broke the Harvey Weinstein allegations and won a Pulitzer for their reporting, appeared on the Today show on Monday to discuss their new book, She Said, which chronicles their investigation.

The book traces those first conversations with actresses to dealing with a contentious Weinstein in the reporting process. “We also wanted to talk about the machinery that was in place to silence those women and block this investigation,” Twohey told Savannah Guthrie.

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Earning the trust of women like Ashley Judd and Gwyneth Paltrow, to name a few of the actresses, former employees, and other women who spoke with the reporters about allegations of Weinstein’s sexual misconduct, sounds incredibly difficult. After all, it wasn’t as if Twohey and Kantor could call up their publicists or agents.

“Even if we managed to get Ashley Judd or Gwyneth Paltrow on the phone, which we did, we had to figure out how to say in that first minute: here’s an argument for trusting us, here’s an argument for telling us this really private story,” Kantor says. Kantor says she and Twohey kept coming back to a line: “we can’t change what happened to you in the past, but if we work together we may be able to take this in some sort of constructive direction.”

But the book, Kantor and Twohey are quick to point out, is intended to move beyond the granular details of their reporting process, and highlight patterns of predatory and silencing behavior, that aren’t limited to Weinstein, but
keep popping up in industries beyond Hollywood, at the hands of all kinds of men. “These kinds of settlements are signed by women all across America every single day,” Kantor says, referring to the binding NDA agreements women signed to keep quiet about Weinstein’s behavior.

She Said comes out on Tuesday, but further details about the book’s contents were reported in The New York Times, including details about how Weinstein lawyer Lisa Bloom wanted to plant articles to discredit and damage the reputation of Rose McGowan.

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Hazel Cills

Pop Culture Reporter, Jezebel