People who live in the real world, which is to say outside of Hollywood, have to wonder how Harvey Weinstein got away with doing what he did for all of those years. Sure, at some point, he would have mauled the wrong actress, someone willing to go nuclear in return in a courtroom. Every other workplace in the country, even Fox News, has come to take a dim view of powerful men molesting women. However, Hollywood, at least until recently, operated on a different set of rules, according to Hot Air.

What was ‘pay to prey?’

It seems that the Weinstein Company had a clause in its contract with Harvey Weinstein that allowed him to buy his way out of instances of what is called moral turpitude, such as luring an aspiring actress to his hotel room and demanding sex.

If Weinstein had to settle with his victim in court, something that invariably included a nondisclosure clause, he would have to pay the company he helped to found the legal costs it incurred on his behalf plus what amounted to a fine that could amount to as much as a million dollars. The system amounted to "pay to prey."

Since Weinstein was an influential and successful producer, this amount of money amounted to pocket change for him. He could be fired if he was convicted of a crime or committed fraud, the latter being the likely reason he was let go. The former may come in due course with multiple women accusing the former producer of rape and several law enforcement agencies, including the New York Police Department, the Los Angeles Police Department, the FBI, and Scotland Yard investigating Weinstein.

The Weinstein Company on the brink

According to Market Watch, the Weinstein Company had been in dire financial straits even before the Weinstein scandal exploded. The recent history of the company has featured declining revenues and layoffs. Harvey Weinstein’s brother Bob, with whom he is estranged, is struggling to save the company, starting with a name change.

However, the prospect for the production firm’s long-term survival is problematic at best. Rumors swirl of investors pulling out and Hollywood agents forbidding their talent from having anything to do with the Weinstein Company.

It would be just as well if the Weinstein Company would wind up on the ash heap of history. Its owners actually profited from Harvey Weinstein’s beastly behavior, keeping quiet about it so long as the producer kept signing checks. That sort of corruption, sooner or later, leads to a fall. Unfortunately, for the firm Weinstein helped to found, that ending happened later than it should have.