As allegations of sexual harassment and assault continue to mount against Harvey Weinstein, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences decided Saturday to expel the controversial producer as a member.
In a statement released to the public, the Academy Board of Governors said:
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.
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. The Board continues to work to establish ethical standards of conduct that all Academy members will be expected to exemplify.
The Academy arrived at their decision after the Board of Governors convened an emergency meeting to discuss the longtime Hollywood producer, who has been accused of sexual harassment and multiple instances of rape by more than 30 women, including actors Rose McGowan, Ashley Judd, and Gwyneth Paltrow.
Steven Spielberg, Kathleen Kennedy, Tom Hanks, Whoopi Goldberg, Laura Dern, Kimberly Peirce, and Michael Mann are all on the Academy's Board of Governors, of which only Hanks and Goldberg have added their voices to the backlash against Weinstein.
Not long after the Academy released its statement on Weinstein's expulsion, a handful of Hollywood celebrities, including Mia Farrow and Emmy Rossum, took to Twitter to praise the organization's decision.
Many people, including CBS Films president Terry Press, called on the Academy to boot Weinstein from the institution.
Weinstein's brother and business parter, Bob, also urged the Academy to expel him. "I am gonna write a note to them saying he definitely should be kicked out of the Academy," he told the Hollywood Reporter, calling his brother "sick and depraved."
The 90-year-old organization previously denounced Weinstein's alleged sexual misconduct and abuses, calling them "repugnant, abhorrent, and antithetical to the high standards of the Academy and the creative community it represents," although it has notably never commented on the sexual abuse allegations against Bill Cosby and Roman Polanski, who are still among its membership.
"The Academy has suspended membership in the past," a spokesperson for the organization told BuzzFeed News, without further explanation. It's unclear whose membership has been rescinded and the circumstances that prompted expulsion. (Last year the Academy introduced a series of changes that relegated inactive members to "emeritus status," which stripped them of the right to vote for awards like the Oscars. Though the move was to help diversify its voting body and, ultimately, future Oscar nominations, many long-time members objected to the move.)
In the days after the New York Times and the New Yorker published exposés on the now disgraced producer, Weinstein has since been fired from the Weinstein Company, which he co-founded with his brother, Bob Weinstein. His wife, Georgina Chapman, also announced her plan to leave him. The British Academy of Film and Television Arts announced that it would revoke Weinstein's membership. The University of Southern California rejected a $5 million endowment from the Hollywood exec. Meanwhile, scores of celebrities, from Kate Winslet to Lin-Manuel Miranda, continue to condemn him for his alleged crimes.
This post has been updated to include celebrity reactions to Weinstein's expulsion from the Academy.
The Producers Guild of America's national board of directors voted unanimously today to terminate Weinstein's membership from the organization. Weinstein has 15 days to make a case against his expulsion, and the guild will make its final determination on Nov. 6.
PGA presidents Gary Lucchesi and Lori McCreary wrote a statement on behalf of the PGA National Board of Directors and Officers. In it, they condemned sexual harassment and announced the formation of an anti-sexual harassment "task force" within the guild. Their full statement is below:
“This morning, the PGA’s National Board of Directors and Officers decided by unanimous vote to institute termination proceedings concerning Harvey Weinstein’s membership.
Sexual harassment of any type is completely unacceptable. This is a systemic and pervasive problem requiring immediate industry-wide action. Today, the PGA’s National Board and Officers – composed of 20 women and 18 men — created the Anti-Sexual Harassment Task Force specifically charged with researching and proposing substantive and effective solutions to sexual harassment in the entertainment industry.
As required by the PGA’s Constitution, Mr. Weinstein will be given the opportunity to respond before the Guild makes its final determination on November 6, 2017.
The PGA calls on leaders throughout the entertainment community to work together to ensure that sexual abuse and harassment are eradicated from the industry.”
Susan Cheng is an entertainment reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles.
Contact Susan Cheng at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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