Harvey Weinstein Didn’t Realize This Was Newsworthy

New York Times reports on the exit of Finding Neverland press agent

ShutterstockHarveyWeinstein2015GlobesTowards the end of Patrick Healy’s very entertaining ArtsBeat item about the exit of Broadway publicist Rick Miramontez from Harvey Weinstein’s upcoming show Finding Neverland, Weinstein says this:

“If I knew The New York Times would cover a publicist leaving a production, I would arrange to hire a publicist one day, fire him the next day and then rehire the publicist the following day just for the publicity,” Weinstein said.

But of course, it’s newsworthy because of how Miramontez is said to have exited. According to several anonymous sources tapped by the Times theater reporter, there was profanity at the contentious Tuesday meeting (Weinstein denies it). And, just before article publication, Weinstein added that he took responsibility for what had happened and would no doubt today be “begging” Miramontez and O+M Co. to return to the promotional fold.

A major issue for Weinstein at the weekly planning meeting was reportedly the fact that the only long-lead magazine coverage lined up for Neverland, which starts previewing in March, was something he had arranged with Vogue. But Miramontez chafed at the suggestion that O+M had dropped the ball with regards to getting glossy coverage for the show and its stars Matthew Morrison, Kelsey Grammer:

“The problem came when he [Weinstein] demanded that they [GQ magazine] give Finding Neverland a cover. He doesn’t understand that the nation’s top men’s magazine is not going to devote a cover to his Broadway show. The reality is, at this point, they don’t even want to devote a page to it. He’s just having a tough time facing facts.”

Update (January 26):
At the top of Weinstein’s latest annual State of the Hollywood Union conversation with Deadline co-EIC Mike Fleming Jr., the mogul makes reference to the very article quote we previously pulled above:

“When Patrick Healy filed it and it lived as an Internet story for 48 hours, there was humor and irony in that story. It changed, in print. I’d said, ‘If I knew the New York Times would cover a publicist leaving a production I would hire a publicist, fire him the next day and then rehire him the following day, just for the publicity.'”

“They left out that and an olive branch to Scott Rudin, where I called him the best producer on Broadway because of how he thinks outside the box and works hard to get extensive coverage for his shows in magazines and newspapers. I didn’t expect a GQ cover, just a mention on a page. In print, some Times culture editor who should work for a tabloid changes it to bare knuckle fighting.”

[Photo of Weinstein with Georgina Chapman at the 2015 Golden Globes: Helga Esteb/Shutterstock.com]

@hollywoodspin rhorgan@gmail.com Richard Horgan is co-editor of Fishbowl.