Kevin Smith was one of the first filmmakers to speak out against fallen indie mogul Harvey Weinstein, at a point when doing so was still kind of a big deal. It was especially significant for someone like Smith, who got his big break via Weinstein, and spent most of his career making movies for Miramax (Clerks, Chasing Amy, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, Jersey Girl) and The Weinstein Company (Clerks II, Zack and Miri Make a Porno). Smith tweeted that he “felt ashamed” that “while I was profiting, others were in terrible pain.” And now he intends to pay some of that profit forward.
“My entire career is tied up with the man,” Smith tells a live audience on a new episode of his Hollywood Babble-On podcast. “I’m not a victim in this. This is not about me at all. We know who the victims are. But my shit is tied up with this man… I had a dream and I made it, and I presented it to somebody, and they didn’t make me do something fucking horrible. So I feel like there are so many people that we know of now, and maybe even more, that were made to do horrible things to make their dreams come true and maybe didn’t even get to touch the dreams; this fucking dude chased them away.”
So what can Smith do now? “I work in an industry where thankfully there are dividends that come out of a movie for the rest of your life,” he explains, “so there’s such a thing as residuals, where I still get money for those movies, for the movies I made at Miramax and for the movies I made with at Weinstein. The first thing I feel like I can do is, I don’t want that anymore.” So Smith will instead donate all future royalties and residuals from those films to Women In Film, a not-for-profit organization that, per their website, “advocates for and advances the careers of women working in the screen industries – to achieve parity and transform culture.”
“That feels like a start,” Smith says. “Hopefully that goes to people that get to make shit without having to deal with some fucking animal saying, ‘Here’s the price.’”
The full podcast is below; the Weinstein discussion begins at 1:25:25.