Hollywood’s de facto governing body, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, voted overwhelmingly Saturday to “immediately expel” Harvey Weinstein, breaking with 90 years of precedent and turning one of the biggest Oscar players into a pariah.
The academy’s 54-member board of governors made the decision at an emergency session after investigations by the New York Times and the New Yorker revealed sexual harassment and rape allegations against him going back decades.
The academy said the vote was “well in excess of the required two-thirds majority.”
It added, “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 academy said it would “work to establish ethical standards of conduct that all academy members will be expected to exemplify.”
Weinstein, who was fired by the movie and TV studio he co-founded, the Weinstein Co., has denied rape allegations.
Although largely symbolic, Weinstein’s ouster from the 8,400-member academy is stunning because the organization is not known to have taken such action before — including with Roman Polanski or Bill Cosby, who have both fought high-profile accusations of sexual assault and rape.
New York Times