Even though famed Hollywood studio executive Harvey Weinstein has been officially ousted from his own film studio that he co-founded, The Weinstein Company, amid a barrage of sexual harassment claims, many brand experts say the film producer still has a shot at a comeback.
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“While it does not look good for him, others in equally as bad places did bounce back,” Karen Post, author of the book “Brand Turnaround”, told FOX Business.
Weinstein was fired on Sunday by his board of directors, following three days of turmoil after The New York Times published an investigative piece detailing his sexual misconduct involving actresses and underlings for multiple decades.
Post says Weinstein’s first step in hopes of having a comeback should be owning his actions and putting his money where his mouth is.
According to Forbes, Weinstein’s company’s most recent net worth totaled around $150 million dollars in 2015. However, The Weinstein Company is reportedly in talks to change its name in light of board members’ fears that the company’s reputation has been severely tainted by Weinstein’s behavior.
A source with knowledge of the company told entertainment news website The Wrap that “TWC will need a new name” and that change should be expected soon.
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Rob Frankel, branding strategist and expert at Frankel & Anderson in Los Angeles, told Fox Business that while things keep getting worse for Weinstein, there is “no way is he done.”
“Sidelined for a time, but not done. He's too connected to be done. Anyone with a hot screenplay will still do business with him because he can make the deal happen. All the media lemmings thought Don Imus, Martha Stewart, Kobe Bryant, Dan Rather and Brian Williams were done. They were all wrong. In fact, even money says that O.J. Simpson will be back with a reality show of his own within a year,” Frankel said.
While a name change for the company will likely happen, Frankel added that unlike most industries, it won’t have any major impact.
“In Hollywood, production companies come and go all the time. That's the transient nature of a very fluid business,” he said.
However, branding expert Kait LeDonne said it’s simply too early to say whether or not Weinstein will be able to make a comeback.
“Fortunately, we are at a turning point, where more and more brave women are coming forth to share their stories, shining a light on this unacceptable behavior,” LeDonne told FOX Business. “If he truly wants to come back, he will have to lead the way on what it looks like for someone with these patterns of behavior to transform themselves. As for The Weinstein Company, from a branding standpoint, I'd advise they change their name. It will be hard for individuals to separate the name from negative associations due to his behavior.”