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QUEST MEANS BUSINESS
Harvey Weinstein and Harassment; Harassment Scandal Spreads as Women Share Stories; Lawmakers Try to End Silence on Abuse Claims; Sexual Harassment in the Workplace;
Aired October 20, 2017 - 16:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[16:00:00] RICHARD QUEST, CNN HOST: Harvey Weinstein, Hollywood mogul producer, who now faces criminal investigations in Los Angeles, London, and
New York. And while the disgraced producers future remains unclear, one thing is certain, Weinstein's conduct has sparked a global conversation on
harassment that affects every industry in the world.
Good evening. You're joining us tonight in a special edition of QUEST MEANS BUSINESS. As we get to grips with this ever-growing and important
scandal. Now, whether it's through hash tags, interviews or legal action, victims of harassment have seized back the narrative and brought us what is
tonight clearly a critical moment.
So, on this special program, we're going to look at not only the fallout for the Weinstein's company and the company he ran and the victims, but
we're going to go deeper than that. We're going to go into the crucial questions of how workplaces everywhere can eradicate this behavior. Let us
to be clear and let there be no doubt. This is not a Weinstein or a Hollywood or a women's problem or issue. Fighting harassment will require
men and women, bosses and employees, public and private sector to stand up for what is right. So, we start where this scandal began.
The women who showed the courage to raise their voices and tell their stories.
JESSICA BARTH, ACTRESS: He invited me to a business meeting that we were supposed to talk about career stuff, and we were supposed to meet in the
lobby. And when I got there he wasn't there. He called me and asked me to come to his room, which I was very hesitant about.
DAWN DUNNING, ACTRESS: On the table he had a bunch of papers, and he said, listen, these are contracts for my next three films. I will sign them
right now. But I want you to have a threesome with me and my assistant.
HARVEY WEINSTEIN: You embarrassed me in this hotel.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm not embarrassing you. It's just that I don't feel comfortable.
WEINSTEIN: Honey, don't have a fight with me in the hall.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's not nothing, it's --
WEINSTEIN: Please, I'm not going do anything. I swear on my children. Please come in. I'm a famous guy.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm feeling very uncomfortable right now.
WEINSTEIN: Please come in now.
JESSICA BARTH, ACTRESS: At first, he started talking about career stuff, and how he wanted to fly me to New York and give me a role in Sara Jessica
Parker's new film. He alternated between that and asking me to give him a naked massage in the bed.
LOUISETTE GEISS, ACTRESS: As he followed me, and he told me he would give me a three-picture deal and he would get my movie made. But you've got to
stay and watch me masturbate.
WEINSTEIN: If you want to leave when the guy comes with my jacket --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why yesterday you touch my breast?
WEINSTEIN: Please, I'm sorry. Just come on in. I'm used to that.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You're used to that?
WEINSTEIN: Yes, come in.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, but I'm not used to that.
WEINSTEIN: I won't do it again. Come on. Sit here. Sit here for a minute, please.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, I don't want to.
WEINSTEIN: If you do this now you will (INAUDIBLE), I will.
IVANA LOWELL, FORMER COLLEAGUE OF HARVEY WEINSTEIN: I was willing to forgive him until I heard all the allegations. And there were so many.
And then the rape word was mentioned. And at that point, my heart just went, oh, my god. I just wish I had said something before. I could have
perhaps stopped this.
ALYSSA MILANO, ACTRESS: No, more. No more. We're not going to put up with this anymore. We are going to be vocal, until this stops. Not one
more. It stops here.
QUEST: And our considered coverage begins here. Before we look at the implications for Hollywood, for industry, for the workplace, we need to
understand the extent of the Weinstein scandal. Ashley Judd was the first to step forward. She described a graphic encounter at the Peninsula
Beverly Hills Hotel, and it was more than two decades ago. Weinstein was by then already a king in Hollywood. And he banked on the silence of those
like Judd who he harassed. As she tells it, women have been whispering among themselves about Weinstein for years. Fear kept the accusations from
the public. That is, until two weeks ago. And it is only just that period when eight women told stories that the "New York times" published in
stories that were sickeningly similar in style.
Young actresses promised a business meeting with the producer who then discovered he had a very different and sinister agenda. The accusations
were explosive. Those reports were followed five days later by "The New Yorker" and that was even more damning. Multiple accusations, this time of
[16:05:00] Asia Argento, who confirmed her account to CNN, found herself attacked in in the Italian media after she went public. Now she says she's
leaving the country. The floodgates had opened. To date, more than 40 women have revealed stories of sexual harassment at the hands of Harvey
Weinstein, including such famous names as Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow. And one of the most recent, Lupita Nyong'o, described how
Weinstein offered to give her a massage when she went to his house, and continue to pursue her on later occasions.
Put all of this together. Two weeks after the first accusations were published, Weinstein has lost his company and may lose his freedom. He's
under police investigation both in New York, Los Angeles and the metropolitan police, Scotland yard in London. The list of powerful
executives that have been accused is growing. Wherever you look, companies, studios, are taking action. Roy Price for side of Amazon
studios. Harvey Weinstein's brother himself, Bob, accused of bullying and harassment. Nickelodeon's founder, creator of "Loud House" series. And
France's "Got Talent" judge, Gilbert Rozon has been suspended.
Leading the charge in many ways and one of the names that you see in here time and again, Gloria Allred, who has devoted her career to representing
victims of sexual assault and harassment. Incidentally, the mother of Lisa Bloom who briefly represented Weinstein after the allegations were first
Gloria Allred joined me from Los Angeles and she told me -- the question was really very simple. Once she knew of the first stories, did she expect
there would be many more allegations against Weinstein?
GLORIA ALLRED, DISCRIMINATION ATTORNEY: Well, I know that there are many more than have gone public. Today I came forth with a second accuser, and
I have had many more than that contact me. I now represent numerous accusers, some of whom will not go public. But some of whom will. And
there are many more that have not yet retained me that I am interviewing. So that they will know what their legal rights and responsibilities are and
what their options are and what the benefits and risks of choosing any one or more of such options are. So, yes, there are many. And people are
contacting me from not just the United States, but from other countries around the world.
QUEST: In this scenario, we need to ask how an industry allows this to continue. And as we've seen post-Weinstein, other accusations have been
made against others. Now, I don't want to suggest it's epidemic or endemic or maybe even systemic. But what would you say this is within Hollywood?
ALLRED: Well, I've been practicing for 42 years. And I can tell you that sexual harassment in the entertainment business is severe in many cases,
and it's pervasive. And it is very harmful to the women who are seeking employment opportunities, whether it's as an actress or in some other role
in the entertainment business. It interferes with their right to enjoy equal employment opportunity. It is a form of sex discrimination. It is
against the law.
But what you point out is that many people have not come forward, even though it is endemic, as you say, Richard. And the reason that many women
have not is because they fear retaliation. They fear that there is a power gap, a power differential. That someone who is rich and powerful and
famous, such as Mr. Weinstein, will be able to retaliate and make sure they never work again if they reject sexual advances and even if they go along
with the sexual advances. If he doesn't like what they have done, then they may never work again. Is there fear. Now, whether it's a reality or
not, this is what often keeps them from speaking out or asserting their legal rights.
But fear is a weapon that keeps women down and now that fear is released. That anger is released by those who have alleged they have been victimized
and now they're speaking out.
[16:10:00] QUEST: What advice would you give men in the workplace, senior men who either have suspected somebody else has been up to this, or simply
is in many cases -- and I think you might agree with me oblivious through ignorance or stupidity of this happening in the workplace, simply because
most men are not exposed to it?
ALLRED: Well, I think we all have a duty to make our workplaces safe. And whether or not that's a legal duty or whether that's just a moral duty --
for some it is a legal duty -- we should not close our eyes to what is happening to someone's daughter in the workplace. This could be our
mother, this could be our sister, this could be our daughter who is being sexually harassed. And it's just wrong. And it's got economic damage that
it's doing to women in the workplace. Emotional damage. Sometimes physical damage. In a way, it's also unfair competition to other people
who are not, you know, getting opportunities because they agree to the sexual harassment, even though it's really unwelcome. It's wrong. It's
damaging. Do something about it.
And I will say, I'm happy that there are some supportive men out there in the workplace. I have many who contact me and say, my coworker is being
sexually harassed. I just think it's wrong. Can you talk to her, can you tell me what she can do about it? You know, and she needs to know.
So many employers put up a sign in the workplace that sexual harassment is against the law, report it. And then there are a lot of cobwebs that cover
the sign. Nobody even begins to look at it any more. It's like wallpaper. So, the workplace must be safe. Employers must not only have that sign up,
they must enforce it. They must monitor the workplace. They must train the employees about what sexual harassment is. And how it needs to be
reported. And how the person who reports will be safe from retaliation.
And that I what an employer should do. And if they don't, you, Richard, I'm sure, on "CNN Money," are going to report the serious financial
consequences for the employer who does not take his or her duty to have a safe workplace, free from the hostility of sexual harassment and the
financial consequences for that employer.
QUEST: Gloria Allred. And when we come back after the break, we will move one stage away from the specifics of the Weinstein story, because the saga
has led to a lot of soul-searching amongst them who knew him in any capacity. Whether they be staffers, actors, friends. We're going to
discuss who knew what and who wished they'd done more.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[16:15:20] JANE FONDA, ACTRESSES AND ACTIVIST: We have to believe the women who come forward. We have to speak out. I found out about Harvey
about a year ago, and I'm ashamed that I didn't say anything right then.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: Jane Fonda on CNN last week. Merely knowing about the Weinstein allegations is not always enough to convince people to speak out
immediately. Over the years, other stars have felt compelled to say something, even perhaps by dropping vague hints.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
Saturday night live: Congratulations, you five ladies no longer have to pretend to be attracted to Weinstein.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you have any advice for a young girl moving to Hollywood?
COURTNEY LOVE, SINGER: I'll get libeled if I say -- if Harvey Weinstein invites you to a private party at the Four Seasons, don't go.
GWYNETH PALTROW, ACTRESS: I do all my movies for Harvey Weinstein -- as Miramax, for all of you. And I'm lucky to do them there, but he will
coerce you to do it --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: One of Weinstein's victims described how in 1993, she was lured to his apartment as an aspiring actress, aged 23. Katherine Kendall thought
she was attending a screening.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KATHERINE KENDALL, ACTRESS: As the meeting -- or the conversation was winding down, he went to the bathroom. Came back out of the bathroom, in a
robe. And asked me to give him a massage. I said no. I didn't feel comfortable. He said, everybody does it. He dropped the names of some
other famous models that did it. Made it sound like it was just some big party that everyone, you know, decided to join in on. And I was the only
one that was not doing it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: Katherine said no to it all, and she joins me now. And we're grateful that you are with us to talk about this extremely difficult
subject. For the purpose of this part of the program, I want to talk and understand why then and for so many years people like yourself have felt
unable to say something, or to have revealed this fear that we've heard about that the rest of us need to understand that you felt that you
wouldn't be believed.
KENDALL: Yes, I think -- you know what Gloria Allred said, I think so many people are afraid of retribution. We're afraid we'll lose our jobs. We'll
be blackballed. We'll never work again. It's -- there's something inherent in sexual harassment that the person who is harassed feels shamed
and somehow muted. It's terrifying to come forward and talk about this. We haven't been in a culture where people support women coming forward and
talking about this. People laugh it off. They say, well, you got away, so what's the big deal.
QUEST: Do you think men -- do you think -- and this is a generalization. But do you think that because men are not the victims of it as often as
women, many senior executives do belittle the very concept of it?
KENDALL: They may. But I know that men are the victims of it, as well. And I do -- I do want to speak to that. I think that this isn't something
that just happens to women. It happens to both men and women and is scary either way. I think that it's hard to understand if it hasn't happened to
you. It's easier to shove under the rug and just turn the other way.
QUEST: And when you -- I mean, obviously, Katherine, you -- over the years, you may not have gone into the details with other women, but you
will have -- you will have made other women know that you have faced this. And other women will have made it known to you that whether they work in
advertising or in media or in industrial companies or airlines, whatever it is. There is an understanding amongst women that this is something that
KENDALL: Yes. I mean, I came forward because someone posed the question, if coming forward meant that you would be helping other women, will you, do
it? And I thought, absolutely. If I'm going to help another person, then I'll do it. I hope that people feel they can come forward now. And not be
afraid and speak the truth. To not be afraid to tell the truth.
[16:20:00] QUEST: How widespread in Hollywood, in the entertainment industry, and let's -- you know, we can say films, music, entertainment,
television, whatever you like. How widespread is sexually inappropriate behavior do you believe?
KENDALL: I believe that both in the music industry and in Hollywood it's probably -- I -- more widespread than we can ever imagine, unfortunately.
QUEST: So, to sort of conclude on an optimistic point, if such is possible. How do we deal with this? How do you change a culture which by
common agreement now has to change and change now?
KENDALL: I hope that we can educate ourselves and teach, you know, our children, teach people in the workplace on what sexual harassment really
is. What people's rights are. Give them boundaries. Help people understand what's going on. I think it's unclear to some people.
QUEST: Now, if you were talking to an aspiring actress age 23 -- imagine tonight you're talking to an aspiring actress now, who is watching, has
been through something similar. And is feeling exactly that sense of shame. And I dare not reveal. What would you say to her now?
KENDALL: I would say, you re safe to come forward. I've got your back. You have a network of women, and people that have your back. You're safe,
and it's OK.
QUEST: Katherine, thank you for coming by. Thank you, Katherine Kendall, joining us from Los Angeles.
So, taking what Katherine has said and moving it forward. There is one thing that's quite clear. Many have said Weinstein's behavior with women,
it was an open secret. You can say that about other issues, as well. Bill O'Reilly at Fox. Roger Ailes, also who was head of Fox. Some of those who
disagreed with Weinstein disagree. Now, the staff at the Weinstein company have written an open letter saying they didn't know their boss was a sexual
predator. I'm going to read you some of the letter.
It says, we knew our boss could be manipulative. We did not know that he used his power to systemically assault and silence women.
One man who did know some of the allegations, and regrets not doing more, is the director Quentin Tarantino. He collaborated with Weinstein over
many years and numerous films. And in a recent article he says, he wishes he had taken responsibility. Two-thirds of the board at the Weinstein
company have now resigned. Six directors have gone. That obviously includes Weinstein himself, his brother, Bob, against whom there are
separate allegations of bullying and harassment remains along with two. How does the company progress from here?
Bruce Turkel from Turkel Brands joins me from Miami. You've listened to Katherine. Let's just take this in two parts. First of all, this idea
that management doesn't know. Do you buy it?
BRUCE TURKEL, CEO TURKEL BRANDS: I don t buy that at all. We've all worked at offices. We all know what's going on. My partner used to be
upset because he needed to a private phone call, he had nowhere to make it. And I would explain to him, listen, when you're fighting with your wife, we
all know it. We don't have to hear the phone call. Everybody knows what's going on. Always.
QUEST: And in the scenario where I can understand that Katherine, who you were just listening to -- Katherine doesn't want to say -- come out and say
what's happened, because she stands to be ridiculed, disbelieved and shamed. Well, I could arguably say an employee would feel the same way. A
junior, an assistant. The very procurers that Weinstein used would feel the same way.
TURKEL: I think if you look at it, you have to look at it two ways. Number one, as you're pointing out, there's the economic ramifications.
And when people don't have money, don't have power, they feel weakened, they don't feel in a position to do something. But we've also seen that
plenty of powerful, wealthy people, successful people, also didn't speak out. Because there's a bigger issue, which is people, generally speaking,
are not convinced this is so terrible. We all know it is individually. But the snickering, the jokes, the victim-shaming, and let's come down and
say the elephant in the room that nobody wants to say. The fact that the person in the White House said, confessed to doing exactly the same thing,
and still got elected, suggests that many of us do not think this is as terrible as it is.
QUEST: And that's really at core, isn't it? Because Harvey was just being Harvey. And it was just sort of, you know --
TURKEL: And all of those women -- and listen, why would there be terms like casting couch and sleeping your way to the top that people use without
thinking of what they really mean if it wasn't on some level considered a victim's problem, not that important. It's a societal issue that we need
to deal with.
[16:25:00] QUEST: How do we do that? Because -- and since we are a business program and we have chosen to focus on this tonight. How does a
company -- I mean, look, let's just take the Weinstein Company. It's virtually gone. It's in ruins as a result of this. You could arguably say
that Fox is -- 21st Century Fox is not going to get Sky in the U.K. because of that scandal. Until there is an economic ramification, arguably boards
of directors won't take it seriously.
TURKEL: That s right. The way to do it, and I don't believe it will work in this case, I have to say. But the obvious rules of crisis management
are the three As. Which is accept, apologize and act. Accept, we did it. Apologize, we are so sorry. And act. Here's what we're going to do to
make sure it doesn't happen again. However, as we said here, the problem is bigger. Weinstein company is finished. It's going to be taken apart.
It is not going to save itself. But that's the way companies do it. But we have to say that we will not stand for this. We won't stand for it with
our friends. We won't stand for it with our families. Our funny uncle. None of that. This has to be over.
QUEST: All right. But I just want to point out. So even tonight, we are reporting on CNN Money, Vox media is sacking a top executive over sexual
misconduct allegation. A top media executive -- has been removed from his office because he engaged in conduct that is inconsistent with our core
values. I can't help feeling the stench -- I'm not talking necessarily Vox or Amazon over Price or even Weinstein over Bob Weinstein, as well. But
the stench of hypocrisy about this is overwhelming.
TURKEL: Since when are we surprised by hypocrisy? I can't believe there's gambling going on here. We are all aware of these things. You're
absolutely right. So, for someone to stand up and go, we're not going to take it anymore, we need to see something bigger and more important. But
we need to see a change in all strata of society. It's great to say we're getting rid of this executive. We're getting rid of that executive That's
not enough. We have to have posted policies. We have to be very clear about who we are and what matters to us. And we have to stop saying it is
the responsibility or the problem of the victim. It's not their job to speak up. It's everyone else's job to make sure it doesn't happen.
QUEST: And the chairman and the chief executive, they are responsible.
TURKEL: Absolutely. The stink starts from the top. Starts from the head. Just like with a fish. They are responsible.
QUEST: Sir, good to see you. Thank you.
TURKEL: Thank you, Richard.
QUEST: As you can see, we're putting this into context of exactly how it happens, not only the victims, but also the companies involved. Because
it's only when you see that total picture. As we continue, we're going to look at that aspect of it. The Weinstein scandal has triggered a global
conversation on the issue of harassment with millions of women revealing on social media they have too been victims.
[16:30:07] QUEST: One of the leading hash tags around the world trending, hash tag me too. Many of the women allegedly targeted by Weinstein have
spoken of the fear you heard talked about by Kathryn a short while ago. It comes down to this disparity between power and authority that helped to
silence the accusers. You could arguably say the same thing in many other top situations when one thinks about Roger Ailes at Fox. Bill O'Reilly at
Fox. And the allegations that were put against them.
Time and again. That is the point. In the past weeks, though, this rallying cry, hash tag me too against sexual harassment has gone viral and
it is just simply those two words. Millions of women have used it to indicate they too are victims.
So, let's just take a look around the world. The tweets per minute. The actress, Alyssa Milano, started it to highlight the magnitude of the
problem. In turn, men have added to this with hash tag I will. Hash tag, it was me. Hash tag, I have. To own up to their own complicity in past
Top Hollywood actresses say it is this open conversation that will ultimately be empowering.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JENNIFER LAWRENCE, ACTRESS: It's good to talk about it. It's good that everybody is talking about it. I'm thrilled. Legal actions need to be put
in place to protect people on film sets. And we just need to make a community of support where people feel like they can go and find support.
Find help and get answers. Is this normal, is -- without having to be on the cover of a magazine talking about it.
You know, just create a community of support.
LAURA DERN, ACTRESS: So that first voice is the act of bravery. And I feel empowered that we actually can do something about it. That feels
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: A journalist, Lauren Sivan, said she was sexually harassed by Weinstein at a restaurant in New York when he was an investor. After going
public with the allegation, she tweeted, this is telling. for those asking why I waited, you try telling that story ten years ago. Only possible now
because of women with bigger names, far braver than me.
To be clear, a spokesman for Weinstein says there was never any retaliation against those who refused his advances, and he denies any allegation of
nonconsensual sex. All allegations. Lauren Sivan joins me now from Los Angeles.
Lauren, let s talk about this empowerment aspect of the me-too hash tag. How do we foster that so that when the Weinstein allegations have sort of
drifted off into the blue yonder, as they invariably will, how do we foster it as a permanence of respectability after?
LAUREN SIVAN, ACTRESS: I think we're doing it. I think just by talking about it, talking about the types of behavior that women find uncomfortable
or women find sometimes inappropriate, is a good way to start. Because if we don't talk about it people don't know.
People do not know what is appropriate. I mean, if you really want to believe Harvey Weinstein's apology/excuse, he just didn't know any better.
That was just the time he grew up in. Which many of us aren't buying. However, a lot of people don't know that it's not appropriate to have
meetings by, you know, alone in a hotel room with a woman.
Maybe people don t know that it's not appropriate to hug or kiss a stranger at a meeting business meeting. Maybe we do need to educate people.
QUEST: Right. Now, I want to take this out of Hollywood if I may for a second. Because, you know, Hollywood now has the light on it, and also --
and crucially, Lauren, Hollywood always has the media who clearly failed in this regard until "The Times" came along.
Now let's take an engineering company in the Midwest, a trucking company in the South. An office stationer in the Northeast. This is everywhere.
How do we get men and women in companies, bosses and employees, to sit down and have a sensible conversation about this?
SIVAN: Well, look. If you are in a position of management, if you are in a position of power, it is your responsibility to figure out what is
appropriate behavior with people who work underneath you. And that's for men and women. Because let's be clear. This is not only men praying on
women. There are countless examples of women preying on men, of gay men preying on straight men, and the opposite. This goes on across the board.
[16:35:00] So, if you are in a position of power, I think it is your responsibility to know what is appropriate, to set the tone in your own
office. And if you're not sure if your behavior is appropriate, you need to find out. You know, don t just assume that because no one is speaking
up and complaining about you that you have, you know -- that you're in the clear, you haven't done anything wrong. That's why I think this me-too
campaign is important, because people are saying, oh, you're just saying me too. You're not outing anyone. How is it going to help?
It's not about outing people it's not about losing your job because of it. It's just about showing the magnitude that this goes on everywhere. If you
work at a muffler company or you work at Hollywood it is going on.
QUEST: And what worries me in terms of the behaviors in all of this -- at one end of the spectrum, you have the extremely egregious behavior of
Weinstein sort of coming in naked and doing what -- or doing what he did in the case of yourself. But at the other extreme, you have sort of the
office behavior where either through ignorance or stupidity, some people just are not -- they're not understanding that something is not acceptable,
either to make this comment or touch somebody inappropriately like that, or just that sort of behavior.
SIVAN: And by the same token, sometimes younger people who start at companies don't know what is appropriate and what is not. I know when I
was starting out at 22 years old and I worked at a news network, I definitely put up with a lot that I would never put up with now. That I
only realize now was completely inappropriate. Either by my managers or people ahead of me, the way they talked to me.
The things they would ask me to do with kind of a wink and a rakish grin that always made me uncomfortable. But I didn't know back then that that
was not OK and maybe I should have spoken up, or at least, you know, separated myself from working with them. I didn't know any better. You're
new, you're young, you want to get ahead. So, you keep your mouth shut a lot.
QUEST: Lauren Sivan, thank you. Thank you.
SIVAN: Thanks for having me.
QUEST: As I told you earlier, staff at the Weinstein company said in an open letter about the allegations, they're angry and baffled by what say
have learned. Think couldn't put their names to a letter, though, because they're contractually bound by NDAs, nondisclosure agreements.
And some U.S. lawmakers say that has to change.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RONAN FARROW, CONTRIBUTOR, THE NEW YORKER: They really tore their guts out telling these stories. They had nothing to gain and everything to lose.
They were all terrified to do this. And that terror, I think, speaks to the question you're asking. Again, and again, they said they feared
retaliation. They talked about a vast machine, a legal apparatus, that locked them into restrictive nondisclosure agreements in return for
payouts, a PR apparatus that smeared some of these women.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: That was Ronan Farrow, wrote "The New Yorker" investigation speaking to Jake Tapper.
[16:40:00] The victims of sexual harassment many of them have no idea about their abuser's past, often because earlier victims are legally bound to
keep silent by NDAs, nondisclosure agreements.
Now some lawmakers are trying to make that change. Clare Sebastian joins me. NDA?
What is the nub of the NDA?
CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN MONEY SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: Essentially, they can take all different forms, Richard.
They come in all different shapes and sizes. What we are talking about here is essentially settlements that some of these accusers, according to
the "New York Times" and "New Yorker" have signed which include confidentiality. So, we'll give you a certain amount of money in some
cases if you keep quiet about it.
The other point is an employment contract. As we now know, confirmed from that letter from select Weinstein employees, they have these baked into
their contracts, which is why they couldn't speak out.
QUEST: Right. It's not just Weinstein who had eight previous cases. Bill O'Reilly had settlements. Roger Ailes had settlements as well.
All with NDAs attached to them.
SEBASTIAN: Absolutely. And then in the Roger Ailes case, not just NDAs. Gretchen Carlson was forced to do her arbitration which she fought against
in secret. That is something she is now trying to launch a bipartisan bill about in Congress. Richard. We're starting to see this conversation not
just from federal lawmakers, but state lawmakers, as well, here in New York, which is, of course, the global capital of media.
Two lawmakers are trying to push new legislation that would essentially void any employment contracts that attempt to conceal sexual harassment,
discrimination, various other things. And I spoke to one of those, Senator Brad Hoylman.
SEN. BRAD HOYLMAN, NEW YORK (D): The sharing of information has been limited completely by nondisclosure agreements to protect mainly the
predators. We need to change that and look at this from a different lens. We should be protecting the current victim, but also potential new victims.
Otherwise we're in a vicious cycle that won't stop repeating.
SEBASTIAN: Harvey Weinstein is a constituent of yours, Fox news is also in your constituency I believe,
Do you feel a special responsibility here personally?
HOYLMAN: I do, New York City is the media capital of the world, and we've seen these types of claims brought forward in industries that are very
common in New York city and in my Senate District, so absolutely. Someone has to speak up for employees. And that's what we're trying to do with
SEBASTIAN: Richard, it's very clear this is a problem. It's much less clear what exactly is the right thing to do about it. Even if they do
introduce this legislation that voids these types of contracts, what will that mean for settlements? Are companies going to be less likely to
settle? Will settlements be lower value? This is a really complicated situation.
QUEST: Right but Gloria Allred on this NDA question admitted that she had done thousands of NDAs, legitimately, where a settlement had been reached
on an issue, but you want to keep the settlement private. Now, I suppose one person's privacy is another person's secrecy.
SEBASTIAN: Well, there are perfectly legitimate reasons to do NDAs. They are done an enormous amount in business, companies want to protect trade
They're done an awful lot in Hollywood, as well. You wouldn't sign any actor or actress to a new project without having them sign an NDA, so they
don't give away spoilers on the internet. What we're talking about here is something potentially involving criminal behavior.
And I have spoken to lawyers with the right thing to do is. One told me this afternoon this isn't just about the NDAs. You can write an NDA, so it
includes a carveout for example, so that the person -- the employee potentially involved could go to government agencies, potentially but not
And there is also the issue of corrective action. This apparently did not happen in the Weinstein case.
QUEST: Interesting. Thank you. Clare Sebastian joining us.
It's becoming clear that sexual abusers with economic power have managed to buy their victims silence. I'll be joined by a panel after the break to
talk and see if anything can be done as we look at the different parts of industries and how things move.
[16:45:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
QUEST: If you are watching us tonight, I guarantee many women watching, many of you watching -- many of you have met a Harvey Weinstein at some
point in your careers. And now those that have met them in more overt circumstances are finding the to speak out and take action.
So, let's talk about what we have learned and then the stellar reporting that's been done by our correspondents. Brian Stelter, CNN money's senior
media correspondent, who has been covering Weinstein. Laurie Segall is our senior tech correspondent at CNN tech, you covered obviously the Uber and
the whole West Coast tech. Poppy Harlow is one of the hosts of "CNN Newsroom," joins me now.
Starting with you, and join in. Don't wait. Join in. But Laurie, you and I have talked on this program, the Uber case, the other cases. This
boyish, frattish behavior that's on the west coast in the tech industry.
LAURIE SEGALL CNN TECH CORRESPONDENT: Yes, this has been happening. I think it started -- first of all, it's been happening, let me just say this
for a very long time. But people started being aware of it when an engineer left Uber and a woman named Susan Fowler, and she said, all of
this bad behavior is going on, I went to HR and no one paid attention.
All of a sudden, a lot of people started coming forward. This summer we shared the stories of six or seven women. Everybody had a story of sexual
harassment in the tech industry. Young. A lot of men. And a lot of bad behaviors.
POPPY HARLOW, CO-HOST CNN NEWSROOM: To Laurie's point, Ariana Huffington who you have had on the program so many times, was the first and only
female board member at Uber during the Susan Fowler allegations, and ultimately this whole scandal cost the CEO his job, et cetera.
She said to me, Richard, recently, you know what? No brilliant jerks allowed. That is sort of her M.O. And what she said, Silicon Valley as a
whole, needs to pay attention to. Doesn't matter how smart they are, how genius they are. If they are
going to act like this, know why they have any place in the valley.
QUEST: You have covered and discovered, let's take the Fox example. Roger Ailes at the top. People had an idea of what was going on.
BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: He was a pretty brilliant jerk.
QUEST: And Bill O'Reilly. There were settlements there as well.
STELTER: Right, and that was only 15 months ago, that Gretchen Carlson sued Roger Ailes. Ailes was out in two weeks.
Now she happened to have a book out this week, but if you think about how quickly we are seeing change in these industries. It's taken far too long.
But it's only been 15 months since that Gretchen Carlson conversation started.
And we have seen so much since, and on the point about the boards, the Weinstein Company and an all-male board. That company is sort of falling
apart, trying to stay afloat. They had no women on the board, that might've been part of the problem.
SEGALL: And by the way, people protect one another. We've had this conversation quite a bit. But even in tech, I just spoke to three women
who are speaking out for the first time against another influential tech company. The investors knew. A lot of people knew the bad behavior was
happening, but they didn't make any changes.
I think that's a huge issue.
QUEST: Why not?
HARLOW: Because no one forced their hand, Richard.
QUEST: These are -- what's been known as being unacceptable in the workplace, sexual harassment is not new, and it has been -- companies have
had rules against it for at least the last decade. Now, I can -- putting aside say Weinstein, who chooses to ignore correct behavior, but the
companies, Poppy. They know. HR knows
HARLOW: HR knows but who pays HR? And to Brian's point, Gretchen Carlson, Fox News anchor, who opened the door for so many women, has this book, "Be
Fierce" out this week, I just sat down with her and she said in a very controversial statement, HR may not be on your side. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GRETCHEN CARLSON, FORMER FOX NEWS ANCHOR: People who work in HR departments are getting their paychecks from the company. And that's one
thing that people always told me as I worked my way up. Are they really your friend? Nah, because they're being paid, you know, from the company.
[16:50:03] Now, I have heard from tons of people who work in HR who are good people, who are trying to do the right thing. So, I'm not trying to
malign the whole industry of HR people. However, I do believe that with regard to discriminatory cases and sexual harassment that we should have
outside source that would come inside the company but not work at the company to be able to hear these complaints.
HARLOW: Can we get a two shot Richard here please? Because your lights went off in your head when she said have an outside body, like the SEC has
people that sit in at these banks to monitor to monitor things. So why could it not be a cross industry?
QUEST: It's an interesting idea and if it would work, I would be in favor of it, she wants an outside body, if HR does not protect you. Hang on.
HARLOW: Not always.
QUEST: If HR does not protect you, not always. If the board of directors are oblivious or choosing to be -- see no evil, hear no evil.
STELTER: The media, Richard. The media. That's the answer. The me-too hash tag. "The New York Times," the "New Yorker," CNN. Part of the answer
here is public exposure. Look at what is happening in the past week. We have got the head of Amazon studios --
QUEST: NBC shelved the program in the same way that NBC shelved the issue of when they had the president.
STELTER: But Ronan Farrow went to the "New Yorker," found an outlet. We see
Amazon this week forcing out a top executive. We see overnight at Fox and executive leaving. We see Nickelodeon firing this week. All thanks to
SEGALL: But what I worry about also are things happening that we're not really talking about. Like the female entrepreneur in Silicon Valley who
no longer gets the invite to go to dinner with the boys, because someone is scared they're going to say something inappropriate. Now you see a
backlash happening with investors saying I don't want to meet with a woman after a certain hour.
Maybe that will be inappropriate. You are saying that happen as well.
QUEST: Isn't that pendulum movement in the other direction, isn't that inevitable in the short-term as we, as and, again, not just society, but in
the corporate environment -- we are a business show. As we in the corporate environment find our way through
this absolute sewer of difficulty.
HARLOW: Maybe. But there is also -- it shouldn't have to be that way. If it takes that time. That's what it takes. But the fact that, you know,
the Weinstein board had no women. The fact that Uber only had one woman. This is all correlative. You know, look at Bank of America for example,
nothing is perfect in any company, they have 40 percent women on the board. I am just saying that corporate America has to catch up and have diversity
at the top, top, top levels. It should be in the C Suite too, come on.
If it's not going to be, at least make it on the board, because there has to be an awareness of this and an action plan.
I don't think it's OK to say just the media. That is not what Brian was saying. But there are so many of these stories that people Laurie has
talked to. These women, their names are known. They might not know to go to the media. They should not have to go to the media.
STELTER: They should not have to call a reporter.
SEGALL: No, and by the way, there is so much fear of retaliation. I spoke with a woman, she was sexually assaulted by her investor, she was worried
that would impact her business, I think we have that sound. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHERYL YEOH, CEO, CHERYL YEOH AND CO.: I felt like I couldn't speak up, because we had this deal we were going to do to bring this to Southeast
SEGALL: You were worried if you said anything the money he was going to commit and the role he was supposed to play that would go away.
YEOH: Uh-huh. So that's where I think it's a problem, because there was a huge power dynamic at play here. If you go on record in terms of there are
career repercussions, some people are fund-raising at a time they don't want to jeopardize their ability to fundraise.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: So, as we come to the end of our discussion, is there a feeling, first of all to you, Laurie, that the wider issue, behaviors are changing?
SEGALL: I think that we're talking about behavior changing. But I can't tell you from the trenches. I just got off a plane today because yesterday
I interviewed three women who were dealing with this. I can't say that they're changing, but I think there is more pressure for them to change.
QUEST: Brian, the media industry, the entire champagne fueled industry?
STELTER: I'm feeling pretty optimistic at this moment, Richard, because of all of these open letters we've seen. Not just in media. Look at the
California Statehouse. 140 women in Sacramento saying the culture of sexual harassment in our political world has to end.
Animation studios overnight, a letter from 40 women saying we have to make change. Not just in Hollywood, but all around the country.
QUEST: You've got the last difficult one, Poppy. Which is at a time when a former president said I did not have sex with that woman and then had to
admit it, the current president had to apologize for his behavior.
[16:55:00] How -- that is an indication of how far and how deep this has to go down the chain.
HARLOW: And I pray it does for my daughter, and we need to teach our sons this behavior, as well. We can't just tell our daughters, we can't just
tell women, we have to tell our sons and teach them from the beginning what's acceptable and what's not.
QUEST: Thank you one and all. And thank you always for coming on QUEST MEANS BUSINESS in the coverage that you bring us.
Profitable Moment after the break.
QUEST: Tonight's Profitable Moment.
We chose to devote the entire program to this issue for one very simple reason. Not only is it a societal issue of how men and women behave to
each other with respect and dignity, but it's also a workplace issue. How bosses respond to employees and vice versa. How colleagues treat each
other in the workplace. And if you've got any doubt as to the significance of that, then you've only got to look at the devastation that happens to
any company that actually falls foul of this.
Never mind the ruined careers, never mind the destruction of shareholder value. Shareholder value. And never mind, of course, the absolute hell
that it imposes on everybody involved. No, it's really very simple this is the issue of our time. And both sides, everybody involved, needs to learn
to see each other's points of view if we're ever going to make serious progress in getting it right. And that s QUEST MEANS BUSINESS for tonight.
I'm Richard Quest in New York. Whatever you re up to in the profitable. I'll see you on Monday.