A new protest is underway against Spyglass Entertainment head Gary Barber. Led by the victims of Harvey Weinstein, the protest took place on February 14, 2020. The victims went to Barber’s office to demand that he take action. According to the victims, the company must give money to the victims’ fund. Previously, the company promised that it would provide millions of dollars for the victims of Harvey Weinstein.
In 2019, Barber technically took control over part of The Weinstein Company. According to the terms of the arrangement, Barber’s company was in charge of all of the television and film assets connected to the Weinstein Company. Spyglass Entertainment also began a partnership with Lantern Entertainment. Previously, Lantern Entertainment was famous because it was the organization that originally purchased Harvey Weinstein’s business after it was forced into bankruptcy in 2018.
The offer for the group was created under the guidance of a former Obama appointee called Maria Contreras Sweet. In the original offer for the Weinstein Company, the offer explicitly set up a fund for his victims. In total, the victims’ fund was supposed to have $30 to $50 million set aside for distributing to Weinstein’s victims.
Unfortunately, this money was never set aside like it was supposed to. According to the protesters, none of the victims have been given financial offers by Spyglass Entertainment. Because of this, they arrived at the Century City office to protest Barber and Spyglass Entertainment.
Eyewitnesses at the location said that around 10 people were present for the protest on February 14, 2020. The goal of the protesters was to get Milos Brajovic and Andy Mitchell to do the right thing for the Weinstein victims. Andy Mitchell is the chief executive officer, managing partner and founder of Lantern Capital Partners. Meanwhile, Milos Brajovic is the partner and managing director of Lantern Capital Partners.
In a statement following the protest, the protesters called on Lantern Asset Management and Spyglass Media Company to do the right thing for the Weinstein victims. According to the protesters, the victims have waited patiently for long enough. Now, the protesters feel like it is time for Andy Mitchell, Gary Barber, and Milos Brajovic to keep their original promises to create a victims’ fund.
Lantern Entertainment has undergone similar struggles in the past. While the company made a good faith offer to help Weinstein’s victims, it has failed to uphold its promises. In 2018, legal documents filed in the Los Angeles Superior Court showed a similar pattern of broken promises. Back then, Lantern Entertainment was sued by Marvin Peart. Peart is an African-American producer who is widely respected in Hollywood. The lawsuit involved charges of fraud, breach of contract and negligent misrepresentation.
The entire lawsuit was for $110 million. It revolved around Peart being excluded from the deal involving the Weinstein company. Peart believed that institutional racism was one of the reasons why he was not allowed to be a part of the deal. Being excluded from the deal was particularly surprising because he was the one who initially brought it to the table and brokered the purchase.
Other than being unfair, Peart’s exclusion from the deal also violated previous promises that were made to Peart. According to Peart, he was promised more than $10 million for the work he did to bring Lantern in as a potential investor. He was also promised a seat on the new company’s board. Neither of those promises ended up being fulfilled by Lantern.
The lawsuit took aim at Lantern for its role in cutting Peart out of the lucrative deal. In the lawsuit, Peart alleged that Lantern did not fulfill its contractual obligations to pay Peart for his exceptional services. It did not give him a seat on the new board of directors for the Weinstein Company like it was supposed to. In essence, Lantern sought to completely remove Peart from the story. Peart was a Hollywood outsider who managed to nab the largest entertainment deal of the year. Rather than get credit for this work, Peart was left in the dust.
The lawsuit continued on to discuss how Lantern wrote Peart’s role in the deal out of the official narrative. Peart’s indispensable work was completely ignored, and references to his role were deliberately removed from public announcements. Instead of acknowledging the part he played in the deal, Lantern rewrote its public announcements to revise the past.
Harvey Weinstein’s victims may be seeking justice, but his company has continued to victimize minorities and has not learned from its mistakes. The lawsuit focuses on the company’s breach of contract, but it also reflects a more insidious problem. Peart was another African-American professional who was cheated by the company and was not allowed to enjoy his achievements. Lantern Entertainment has continued the Weinstein Company’s long-term history of marginalizing workers. At the moment, the outcome of this important case is still pending in the courts.
Gary Barber has not put aside the $30 to $50 million he was supposed to for the victims’ fund. While he has not been able to fulfill his promise to Weinstein’s victims, he has been able to spend millions of dollars on his own comfort. In 2018, he spent $14 million on a home in Beverly Hills. The luxury property in Los Angeles includes floor-to-ceiling windows, multiple levels and 11,000 square feet of space.
Barber bought the property after he was ousted from his role on the board of directors at MGM Holdings. Five months before his ouster, his contract was renewed by MGM. In theory, the contract was supposed to last until 2022. At the time of his removal, MGM did not release a public reason for getting rid of Barber. Some news sources from 2018 stated that Barber was completely blindsided by the ouster.
Now, Barber is leading a company that is supposed to handle the victims’ funds for Harvey Weinstein’s former company. As of February’s protest shows, Spyglass Entertainment has failed to uphold its promises. From Peart’s lawsuits to the victims’ fund, Spyglass Entertainment and Barber have faced an ongoing stream of negative publicity. Hopefully, ongoing protests will help to change the situation.