As the trial of disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein commences, it is important to reflect on how the allegations he is facing were uncovered. Weinstein was known as one of the biggest names in Hollywood, running a renowned production company with his brother. There was a time where it was nearly impossible to watch a movie or television show without running into Weinstein’s name. Now, his name is known for a different reason.
In 2017, journalist Ronan Farrow published a series of articles in The New Yorker presenting numerous allegations of sexual assault against Weinstein. Eventually, this reporting would be expanded upon in Farrow’s most recent book, “Catch and Kill.” The book is a riveting piece of reporting that serves not only to document the accusations of sexual assault against Weinstein and television personality Matt Lauer, but exposes how those in power attempted to prevent the release of those accusations in the first place.
Farrow discusses as a young journalist at NBC, working on the Today Show as an investigative reporter. In an effort to find material for his segment, he discovered something that most people in Hollywood knew but rarely discussed: Harvey Weinstein’s status as a serial sexual predator. Farrow was met with hesitancy from his producers when pitching the story, but they eventually allowed him to begin collecting evidence against Weinstein, interviewing multiple women and collecting documents that characterized Weinstein as a predator with a systematic way of isolating and assaulting women. The book focuses not only on these accusations, but the ways in which Weinstein, and others with a stake in his success, did everything in their power to assure that this information never saw the light of day.
“Catch and Kill” is not only a feat of investigative reporting, but thrilling and cinematic in a way where few non-fiction books compare. The book is reminiscent of a spy thriller with secret agents, false identities and a shadowy private investigation firm. The style of storytelling is immersive and vivid, allowing the reader to visualize every interaction described. It provides an intimate understanding of Farrow and the women he interviewed, as the reader is able to feel their anxiety and empathize with their pain.
Additionally, the women written about in this book are given their own voice, as they are able to tell their stories first-hand without being silenced or censored. At the heart of “Catch and Kill” are women who were finally able to tell their stories after holding them in or being ignored for so long.
The most valuable thing about this book is, once you read it, it becomes clear just how easy it is for men in power to sweep their crimes under the rug. Men like Weinstein are protected by a system that will do anything it can to silence survivors. Intricate cover-ups and intimidation tactics are commonly used to preserve the careers of men who should be held accountable for their actions. Exposing the corruption of this system eloquently and respectfully, “Catch and Kill” is a testament to the power of good journalism and the bravery of survivors.