The Daily Beast
February 20, 2012
By Peggy Noonan
To write about Harvey Weinstein is to face, first, the history of past brutalities. He’s invariably described in profiles as coarse, threatening, given to outbursts, terrifying, and a thug. Boorish and angry are usually in there, too. At the recent Golden Globes, Madonna called him “The Punisher” and Meryl Streep referred to him as “God.” The French actors from his critically acclaimed and award-winning film The Artist called him “Le Boss.”
This makes him laugh.
Madonna’s just mad he made her do publicity. Meryl Streep was teasing. As for the actors from The Artist, they went out on the town after the awards and didn’t show up for a Today show interview. “They’re French or whatever.” He went in their place with Uggie, the movie’s canine scene stealer. “That dog is about to go poop on the couch as the Today show cameras are going, and I’m thinking, Yeah, some God, some Punisher, some Boss.”
We’re talking on a late weekday morning in early February at New York’s Tribeca Grill, where he’s regarded with grave respect by the staff and everyone in the restaurant. In political terms he’s treated less like a U.S. senator than the governor of a big state, with all the staff and security and people walking softly. “The governor would like some water, flat.” “Harvey would like to sit in the back.”