One of the more grotesque ironies of Harvey Weinstein’s alleged 30-year history of sexual predation is that Weinstein, through his since-folded Radius–TWC arm, also distributed Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering’s 2015 documentary The Hunting Ground, which depicts epidemic levels of sexual assault taking place on college campuses. Although Ziering told a reporter from Vanity Fair that she and Dick had “minimal contact” with Weinstein during the movie’s theatrical run, she also said that they were “not surprised” when the allegations against him finally broke since they had already begun speaking personally with Weinstein’s alleged victims. (Weinstein has denied all charges of nonconsensual sexual contact.)
Now, Ziering and Dick, who also produced and directed the 2012 documentary The Invisible War about rape in the U.S. military, have announced they are working on a new untitled film about sexual assault in Hollywood. In a statement, Ziering explained that The Hunting Ground grew out of conversations she and Dick had with students while screening The Invisible War on college campuses, and the new movie grew out of conversations they had while screening The Hunting Ground in Hollywood. (Weinstein pushed the movie for Oscar consideration, and although it was not nominated for Best Documentary, it did receive a nomination for a Lady Gaga song from the soundtrack.) “We immediately found ourselves grappling with the same forces that had kept this story silenced for so long,” Ziering said in a press release. “Everyone was frightened about what would happen to their careers, and worried about whether they would be sued. Distributors were unwilling to fund or release the film, and few people were willing to talk on the record. Then the Weinstein stories broke, and it’s like an invisible dam collapsed. People at long last are speaking out in large numbers, and we feel this industry, and the country, is finally ready for an unflinching film about the reality of sexual assault and harassment in Hollywood.”
The new film has no title and no release date, but it’s one more piece of evidence that Harvey Weinstein’s downfall could sow the seeds of real justice and long-term institutional change.