Unveiling Weinstein: Jez Butterworth’s Provocative Cinematic Masterpiece

  • Butterworth reveals his new play is influenced by his experiences with Weinstein
  • His encounters with the disgraced mogul shaped his writing on The Hills of California
  • Butterworth speaks out against Weinstein’s actions and stands up for his colleagues
  • Weinstein’s legal troubles continue as he serves a combined sentence of 39 years


Award-winning dramatist Jez Butterworth has opened up about his latest play, revealing that it draws inspiration from his encounters with disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein. Butterworth, known for his acclaimed works such as The Ferryman and Jerusalem, shared his experience during an interview on the BBC’s Front Row radio show. He discussed how working with Weinstein on the 2001 film Birthday Girl, starring Nicole Kidman, had a lasting impact on him and influenced his writing on The Hills of California.

Inspired by Weinstein

Butterworth spoke candidly about his early experiences in the film industry with Miramax, where he encountered Weinstein. He revealed that it quickly became apparent that Weinstein’s behavior was pervasive and that it was “the rules of the game.” The playwright recounted meeting actresses in California who expressed interest in his film but refused to engage with him due to their own encounters with Weinstein.

When the accusations against Weinstein became public in 2017, Butterworth took a stand by reading an open letter on the BBC’s Newsnight program. In the letter, he called on Weinstein to consider the countless young girls whose lives he had affected and whose dreams he had shattered. This powerful statement showcased Butterworth’s determination to bring attention to the injustices perpetrated by Weinstein.

Standing Up for Colleagues

In a 2018 interview with Radio Times magazine, Butterworth shared a remarkable incident that occurred during the production of Birthday Girl. He disclosed that he had punched Weinstein in defense of another colleague after Weinstein demanded they be taken off the film. Butterworth firmly stood his ground, refusing to yield to Weinstein’s demands.

When Weinstein responded with a punch of his own, Butterworth did not back down. He retaliated, making it clear that he would not tolerate such behavior. This act of courage and solidarity demonstrated Butterworth’s commitment to protecting his colleagues and standing up against abuse of power.

Weinstein’s Legal Troubles

Weinstein’s crimes finally caught up with him, and he is now serving a lengthy prison sentence. In 2020, he was convicted in New York on two felony counts, resulting in a 23-year sentence. In 2022, he faced further convictions in Los Angeles, leading to an additional 16-year sentence. These separate sentences ensure that Weinstein will pay for his heinous actions.


Jez Butterworth’s revelation about his new play being influenced by his encounters with Harvey Weinstein sheds light on the lasting impact of the disgraced mogul’s actions. Butterworth’s personal experiences and his willingness to speak out against Weinstein’s abuse of power demonstrate his commitment to justice and supporting his colleagues. As Weinstein serves his prison sentence, it is clear that his actions continue to reverberate through the entertainment industry. Butterworth’s new play serves as a testament to the resilience and determination of those affected by Weinstein’s misconduct.

Feel free to share your thoughts on Jez Butterworth’s work and the impact of the Harvey Weinstein scandal in the comments below.

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