Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy To Protect Predators

Little, Brown. Oct. 2019. 464p. ISBN 9780316486637. $30. CRIME
The term catch and kill refers to media organizations buying the rights to a controversial story, and then burying it to protect those accused. In this exposé, Pulitzer Prize–winning investigative reporter Farrow (War on Peace) examines this practice and profiles women whose careers and lives were ruined by sexual predators who flourished in Hollywood. More than 200 interviews inform this grim assessment that focuses mostly on Harvey Weinstein, the powerful cofounder of Miramax Films, whose assaults went largely unchallenged because his victims had little choice but to sign lucrative nondisclosure agreements, knowing their careers were over. Farrow shows that Weinstein was not the only predator; he details Today show cohost Matt Lauer’s brutal assaults that were well known for years by management. Included are gripping stories of Farrow’s firing from NBC, how The New Yorker published the author’s research as a lengthy article, and how several women victims—the real heroes here—came forward to Farrow with their harrowing stories.
VERDICT This chilling narrative reveals the unequal power dynamic between aspiring actors (and women in the media) and the dominant powerbrokers in Hollywood. For true crime fans, and a complement to Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey’s She Said: Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement.

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