The fall of 2017 will likely be defined in history books by the #MeToo movement, which gained momentum after three investigative reporters exposed decades-worth of sexual harassment and assault allegations against former Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein. On Monday, those three journalists — Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey of the New York Times, and Ronan Farrow, who covered the abuse for The New Yorker — were awarded the 2018 Pulitzer Prize in Public Service Reporting.
Both sets of investigative reports were published within days of each other in October 2017. Kantor and Twohey’s Times reporting came first, followed shortly after by Farrow’s New Yorker investigation. The Times report uncovered that Weinstein paid settlements to at least eight women, including actress Rose McGowan, who accused him of sexual abuse. Ashley Judd and numerous other women also went on record with the Times about the harassment they endured from Weinstein, many instances of which occurred in luxury hotels.
Farrow’s New Yorker reporting included similar stories of abuse and harassment that many women endured by Weinstein, including several accusations of assault. For his story, Farrow spoke on the record with actresses Mira Sorvino and Asia Argento, and also shared chilling audio in which Weinstein admits to groping actress Ambra Battilana. Farrow’s investigation was published in the New Yorker after his own employer, NBC News, reportedly declined to publish it.
After the Weinstein allegations emerged, the #MeToo movement — which originated a decade earlier, thanks to activist Tamara Burke — exploded. Similar allegations against other powerful men in media, tech, politics, academia, the arts, and other industries quickly surfaced, and survivors and activists set up the Time’s Up initiative and legal defense fund to promote equality and fight harassment.
Many congratulations and a heartfelt thank you to these reporters — and the brave sources who spoke with them — for helping to bring pervasive workplace sexual harassment into the spotlight.