Author: Samantha

The Man Who Raped the Village Vanguard

The Man Who Raped the Village Vanguard

How Weinstein’s survivors came together, again, to tell their stories in ‘She Said’

In the summer of 2014, around the same time news organizations were struggling to explain what went wrong with the movie industry, Weinstein took over the Village Vanguard. His vision for it was to turn it into a “socialist community newspaper,” the first such publication of its kind, he told me a few months before he died. He ordered a staff to take all the great jazz records the club had to offer and start offering them to its readers through a subscription service. He ordered the club to put up a bar.

The Vanguard turned out to be as tough as the movies it was going to be presenting to its new customers, and its staff left to form one of the largest and most influential labor-organized unions in the country, the United Service Workers union, the UAW, which now has more than 45,000 members.

“This guy was a monster, an absolute monster who raped the very soul of the music community in the heart of Manhattan,” said James L. O’Malley, Jr., a music critic who worked there during its early years and is now the union’s national spokesman. “I don’t think there’s a single person on earth who doesn’t have stories about him from their youth. What he did to the Vanguard, the Village, his career — he destroyed the very heart and soul of the music scene in New York.”

Weinstein’s crimes emerged from a web of sexual harassment and retaliation against women who’d worked with him during his years-long reign of terror. But his victims also included a long list of people he was working with and allies who’d tried to help him; women he had affairs with; his own mother, Rose, who was his assistant at the Vanguard; and, in a rare moment of vulnerability, the man whom he’d tried to bring down as a “rat” in a press conference to say he was resigning from the union, George Mateen:

“He’s my son. He’s my son,” Ms. Weinstein said. “He loves me. And I love him. But the bottom line is, I don’t want to be his mother anymore.”

The Weinstein campaign to discredit the women, in their

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