The half-hour episodes (two will air each week) break down the story into individual pieces, starting with Weinstein’s accusers, including Ambra Battilana Gutierrez, who wore a thread and recorded Weinstein in a second. meeting after allegedly groping her. A separate episode focuses on two former Weinstein assistants, their experiences and decisions to finally speak out.
In subsequent installments, Farrow speaks with other reporters who had heard and pursued rumors about Weinstein’s behavior, such as Ken Auletta, who helped guide Farrow to The New Yorker after NBC – where he was employed – refused to publish the story.
“Writing about Harvey was driving Harvey crazy,” remembers reporter Kim Masters in an interview with Farrow, citing her own attempts to report rumors that Weinstein assaulted women.
Despite the recording in the Gutierrez case, New York prosecutors refused to prosecute Weinstein in his case, citing a lack of evidence. But in the cases of two other accusers, Weinstein was convicted last year of a first degree indictable sex act and third degree rape in New York City. In June, a judge approved his extradition to Los Angeles to face additional charges.
Weinstein denies the allegations made against him in New York and Los Angeles. “Harvey Weinstein has always maintained that each of his physical encounters throughout his life has been consensual,” spokesman Judah Engelmayer told CNN last fall when new charges against him were filed in County of Los Angeles. He is appealing his convictions in New York, for which he was sentenced to 23 years in prison.
Two episodes focus specifically on the making of the journalistic sausage. In the first, Farrow raises questions about his interactions with NBC about his decision not to air the story, with the network disputing his version of events. A second highlights his work with the New Yorker’s fact-checkers, as well as the magazine’s editors and lawyer, and the nights spent agonizing over every detail and word choice regarding “rape” versus to “sexual assault”.
Last year, New York Times columnist Ben Smith wrote a detailed analysis of Farrow’s reports
for the New Yorker and in his book, claiming that it “delivers compelling cinematic stories … and often omits the complicated facts and troublesome details that can make them less dramatic.”
Give birth defended his work
, saying in a statement to the New York Times that he brings “caution, thoroughness and nuance” to his reporting. New Yorker editor-in-chief David Remnick told the newspaper that Farrow’s work was “scrupulous, tireless and, above all, fair.”
The style of “Catch and Kill” clearly capitalizes on how Farrow conjures up vivid scenes like something out of a movie. The show’s producer-directors Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato took on the challenge of essentially turning radio into television using little visual and aural cues, like the image of a drinking glass and odd music to complement. Farrow’s description of a clandestine meeting in a bar.
Beyond illustrating the painstaking work that went into getting people to cooperate, Farrow examines how Weinstein allegedly alternately used fear and money to silence accusers and overturn stories, while also seeking to charm those who could not be intimidated or paid.
“Catch and Kill” doesn’t really intend to move the story forward as much as repackaging part of the book (entirely titled “Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies and A Conspiracy to Protect Predators”) for television, and those who might not have read this, in a very effective way.
A scripted film about New York Times reporters whose work paralleled Farrow’s reporting is in the works
by Brad Pitt’s production company, based on the book “She Said: Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement”. Cinema and TV from the #MeToo era continue like this.
The question that has frequently arisen about Weinstein is how his alleged behavior could have persisted for so long. Perhaps most of all, this HBO series concisely illustrates the obstacles that had to be overcome to bring it to light.
“Catch and Kill: The Podcast Tapes” premieres July 12 at 9 p.m. ET on HBO, which, like CNN, is a division of WarnerMedia.