In the wake of the sexual misconduct allegations lodged against Harvey Weinstein, the University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts has decided not to accept a pledged $5 million endowment from the now-ousted executive of the Weinstein Company. Since last Thursday, more than 20 women — including Ashley Judd, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Angelina Jolie — have alleged Weinstein made inappropriate, unwanted sexual advances; several women claimed he sexually assaulted them.
The endowment was to fund scholarships for women directors at USC. Just last Thursday, Weinstein touted his gift to the school in a statement he gave to the New York Times. "One year ago, I began organizing a $5 million foundation to give scholarships to women directors at USC. While this might seem coincidental it has been in the works for a year," he wrote in his statement, which addressed the newspaper's report about the decades of alleged sexual harassment.
A spokesperson for USC confirmed to BuzzFeed News that the decision to nix Weinstein's endowment was made on Tuesday (Oct. 10) — the same day The New Yorker published a story that included three women's stories of being raped by Weinstein and the New York Times published a follow-up story detailing new allegations of harassment and coercion.
Through a representative, Weinstein "unequivocally denied" having nonconsensual sex to the New Yorker.
Weinstein's representative did not immediately respond to BuzzFeed News' request for a comment on the rejected donation to the university. But in the statement last week, Weinstein said he would name the endowment after his mother, adding, "I won't disappoint her."
Ariane Lange is an entertainment reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles.
Contact Ariane Lange at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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