Harvey Weinstein Kicked Out of Academy Following Sexual Abuse Allegations
The Academy had previously called the accusations against Harvey Weinstein "repugnant" and "abhorrent"
“The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Board of Governors met today to discuss the allegations against Harvey Weinstein, and has voted well in excess of the required two-thirds majority to immediately expel him from the Academy,” the organization said in a statement on Saturday. “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 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,” they continued. “The Board continues to work to establish ethical standards of conduct that all Academy members will be expected to exemplify.
The decision to remove the mega-producer came during a special meeting of the Academy Board to discuss Weinstein’s fate with the group.
The Academy issued a statement Wednesday addressing the multiple allegations of sexual misconduct, which came to light in an Oct. 5 New York Times exposé and were compounded by a subsequent investigation by the New Yorker.
“The Academy finds the conduct described in the allegations against Harvey Weinstein to be repugnant, abhorrent, and antithetical to the high standards of the Academy and the creative community it represents,” the group said in a statement. “The Board of Governors will be holding a special meeting on Saturday, October 14, to discuss the allegations against Weinstein and any actions warranted by the Academy.”
The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (aka BAFTA, the U.K.’s equivalent to the Academy) has already suspended Weinstein’s membership, saying the organization “considers the reported alleged behavior completely unacceptable and incompatible with BAFTA’s values,” and that it hopes the announcement “sends a clear message that such behavior has absolutely no place in our industry.”
Also on Saturday, the French government announced that they were going to explore revoking Weinstein’s Légion d’Honneur, the country’s highest civilian distinction. The producer was awarded the status in 2012 under former French president Nicolas Sarkozy after the Oscar success of The Artist.
Weinstein is only the second member to be expelled from the 8,427-member Oscars group, joining Carmine Caridi, an actor with small roles in The Godfather series, who was removed in 2004 after violating an agreement not to share advanced copies of films.
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Over the last two decades, Weinstein has distributed five Best Picture winners through Miramax or the Weinstein Co.: 1996’s The English Patient, 1998’s Shakespeare in Love, 2002’s Chicago, 2010’s The King’s Speech, and 2011’s The Artist. His productions have also scored numerous nominations and/or wins for actors, including Cate Blanchett (Carol), Judi Dench (Shakespeare in Love, Philomena, Mrs. Brown), Christoph Waltz (Inglorious Basterds), Nicole Kidman (Lion), and Meryl Streep (The Iron Lady).
Streep, Dench, and a slew of other stars have spoken out against Weinstein in recent days, with Streep calling his alleged behavior “inexcusable, but the abuse of power familiar.” Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Cara Delevingne are among those who have come forward with their own allegations of misconduct by Weinstein.
Following the initial report, Weinstein said in a statement that he was working with therapists and planned to “deal with this issue head-on.” He has since been fired from his powerhouse studio, the Weinstein Company, and his wife, Marchesa designer Georgina Chapman, has announced she’s leaving him.
In response to the lengthy allegations made against Weinstein in the New Yorker piece, a spokesperson for Weinstein said, “Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein.”
Weinstein spoke to cameras on Wednesday while leaving his daughter’s Los Angeles house, saying he was “not doing okay” and hoping for a “second chance” amid the allegations.
A source confirmed to PEOPLE that the 65-year-old had flown out of Los Angeles to a luxury resort.