The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has expelled movie mogul Harvey Weinstein. The annoucement came after a series of allegations surfaced accusing Weinstein of the sexual harassment, assault and rape of multiple women. His accusers include Angelina Jolie, Rose McGowan, Ashley Judd and many others, as allegations continue to come to light as more women come forward. Actors including Meryl Streep and Judi Dench, have condemned the movie producer’s behavior.
The Academy’s board of governors, which includes Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg and Whoopi Goldberg, held an emergency meeting in its headquarters and voted to revoke Weinstein’s lifetime membership.
As reported by THR, the Academy issued a statement, saying the board had decided:
“To immediately expel him from the Academy. We do not simply separate ourselves from someone who does not merit the respect of his colleagues but also send a message that the era of willful ignorance and shameful complicity in sexually predatory behavior and workplace harassment in our industry is over. What’s at issue here is a deeply troubling problem that has no place in our society. The board continues to work establish ethical standards of conduct that all Academy members will be expected to exemplify.”
Weinstein’s dismissal came as a surprise given his relationship with the Academy. The master campaigner, known for running Miramax and The Weinstein Company, collected more than 300 Oscar nominations and five Best Picture wins. His most popular films include Silver Lining’s Playbook, Pulp Fiction and Shakespeare in Love. According to THR, some academy members were concerned that the move will set a precedent, requiring the organization – which includes a number of figures who have faced high-profile allegations, including Bill Cosby and Roman Polanski – to begin policing its members.
Only one other member has been expelled from the Academy in its 90 year history. The expellee, Carmine Caridi, was an actor who violated the Academy’s policy against loaning award season screeners. The Academy’s laws state that the organization can eject members with just cause and votes from more than two-thirds of its members. The Academy claims that the vote against Weinstein was in excess of the needed majority.
Weinstein is also facing expulsion from the Producers Guild of America. Its board members will meet on Monday to determine his status within the organization. He was removed from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts earlier this week. Perhaps, the most drastic was Weinstein’s dismissal from The Weinstein Company. The production company, which he founded, is now being run by his brother, Bob Weinstein, and chief operating officer David Glasser. Both feared repercussions concerning Weinstein’s affiliation with the brand and ultimately decided to remove him.
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