Harvey Weinstein has been kicked out of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences following an emergency board meeting in Los Angeles on Saturday.
The disgraced mogul, who was fired a week ago from the namesake company he co-founded following sexual harassment and assault allegations dating back decades, has been expelled from the academy and stripped of his voting rights.
“We do so not simply to separate ourselves from someone who does not merit the respect of his colleagues, but also to send a message that the era of wilful ignorance and shameful complicity in sexually predatory behaviour and workplace harassment in our industry is over,” said a statement Saturday from the academy.
Weinstein still holds an Oscar as a producer for the 1999 best-picture winner Shakespeare in Love.
The academy, which introduced hundreds of new members in response to the #oscarssowhite controversy, has been criticized for turning a blind eye to allegations against prominent figures in the past.
Woody Allen, Casey Affleck and Roman Polanski have all won Oscars despite allegations of sexual misconduct. In Polanksi’s case, he went on to win the prestigious prize for directing The Pianist in 2003 after being convicted of having sex with a 13-year-old girl in 1978.
Bill Cosby, accused of sexually assaulting dozens of women over the years, is still an academy member.
Bob Weinstein aware brother was ‘philandering’
Bob Weinstein, chair of The Weinstein Company, said he “did not know the extent” of his brother’s actions, but that he was aware that Harvey was allegedly unfaithful to his wife, “philandering with every woman he could meet.”
“I want him to get the justice he deserves,” he told the Hollywood Reporter in an interview published Saturday, adding he believes his brother “definitely should be kicked out of the academy.”
“I don’t feel an ounce of remorse coming from him,” said Bob Weinstein.
On Friday, he said in a statement the company is not shutting down or exploring a sale. He added the group is still planning to release several films, including Polaroid and Paddington 2, as scheduled.
There was no mention, however, of the Oscar hopeful The Current War starring Benedict Cumberbatch, originally expected to be released by The Weinstein Company in November.
Decisions to come
France is discussing whether to revoke Harvey Weinstein’s Legion of Honour, the country’s highest civilian distinction, according to President Emmanuel Macron’s office Saturday.
The Producers Guild of America will hold an emergency board meeting on Monday to decide whether Weinstein should be kicked out of the organization. In 2012, he received the PGA’s Milestone Award with his brother, an honorary trophy which has been awarded to well-known filmmakers such as Clint Eastwood, Ron Howard and Steven Spielberg in the past.
Women continue to come forward
Stories are mounting as women continue to come forward about Weinstein’s inappropriate behaviour toward them, typically early in their careers.
The latest includes Canadian filmmaker Sarah Polley, who, in an opinion piece for the New York Times, explained how Weinstein demanded she go to his hotel room when she was 19. She says he then strongly implied he could make her a star if they had a “close relationship.”
“For years, I heard the horrible stories that are now chilling so many people to their core,” she wrote in the Sunday Review. “Like so many, I didn’t know what to do with all of it. I’ve grown up in this industry, surrounded by predatory behaviour, and the idea of making people care about it seemed as distant an ambition as pulling the sun out of the sky.”
Polley is among other Canadians in the industry speaking out. Montreal actress Erika Rosenbaum alleges Weinstein harassed and assaulted her on three separate occasions.
Hollywood actresses Minka Kelly and Kate Beckinsale also recently revealed their encounters. They join others such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie, Mira Sorvino and Rose McGowan who have also shared their experiences publicly after years of staying silent.
‘For every moment like this there have been thousands where a vulnerable person has confided outrageous unprofessional behaviour and found they have no recourse.’ – Kate Beckinsale, actress
Beckinsale said she was called to Weinstein’s hotel room at the age of 17, where she says “he opened the door in his bathrobe.” She recounted that she was able to leave by saying she had school in the morning, but that her reluctance to work with him harmed her career.
“For every moment like this there have been thousands where a vulnerable person has confided outrageous unprofessional behaviour and found they have no recourse, due to an atmosphere of fear that it seems almost everyone has been living in,” the Serendipity and Love & Friendship actress posted Thursday on Instagram.
Kelly said at a restaurant meeting that was initially scheduled to be held at his hotel room, Weinstein “regaled me with offers of a lavish life filled with trips around the world on private planes etc. IF I would be his girlfriend.”
“All I knew was not to offend this very powerful man and to get out of the situation as quickly as possible,” Kelly, who appeared in Lee Daniels’ The Butler, wrote on Instagram Friday. “I told him while flattered, I’d like to keep things professional. He said ‘Fine. I trust you won’t tell anyone about this.'”
Earlier this week, two Canadian actresses also came forward with harassment claims against Weinstein.
None of the allegations have been proven in court.