The shame of Shakespeare in Love: how Harvey Weinstein hijacked the 1999 Oscars

Harvey Weinstein and Gwyneth Paltrow (centre) celebrate Shakespeare in Love's Best Picture win at the 1999 Oscars Credit: Mirek Towski/DMI/Time Life Pictures/Getty Images

In March 1999, Harvey Weinstein held court at the Oscars, dominating the stage as he thanked members of the Academy for choosing Shakespeare in Love as their film of the year. Speaking for over a minute and a half, far longer than the film’s other three producers collecting trophies, he thanked his corporate bosses at Disney, the marketing and production teams at his studio Miramax, his then-wife Eve, his “two rotten kids,” brother Bob and their mother Miriam. He was eventually played off the stage mid-sentence by the Oscar orchestra.

Shakespeare in Love marked a rare personal Oscar win for Weinstein – as head of Miramax, he was responsible for financing and marketing some of the biggest indie hits of the Nineties, but rarely produced them himself. And, considering the figures we typically imagine responsible for shepherding films into existence, it may appear slightly strange for Weinstein...

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