The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ board met in Los Angeles on Saturday, October 14, and voted to revoke studio boss Harvey Weinstein’s membership in the wake of several sexual harassment and assault allegations.
The 54-member board of governors chose to have the emergency meeting on Saturday after The New York Times’ blistering exposé on October 5 claimed that the producer had paid off several women after allegations of sexual harassment. The board had three options: to do nothing, revoke his membership or take back the best-picture Oscar Weinstein won for Shakespeare in Love in 1999.
The Hollywood Reporter reported on Saturday that the board of governors, which includes Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks and Whoopi Goldberg, voted to strip away Weinstein’s lifetime membership.
In a statement the Academy said that the board had voted “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 statement continued. “The board continues to work to establish ethical standards of conduct that all Academy members will be expected to exemplify.”
As previously reported, after the Times detailed nearly 30 years of sexual misconduct allegations, several women in Hollywood spoke out about the alleged mistreatment they received while working with the former executive, including Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow and Mira Sorvino, who claimed that Weinstein once masturbated in front of her. Rose McGowan, who was reportedly paid a settlement after an incident with Weinstein in a hotel room during the Sundance Film Festival, has been very vocal about the producer on social media.
Weinstein’s expulsion is not the first time a person has been kicked out of the Academy. Actor Carmen Caridi was booted from the board after giving an acquaintance promotional DVDs that ended up on the internet. But Bill Cosby and Roman Polanski, who have also been embroiled in sexual abuse cases, remain members of the Academy.
Earlier this week, Weinstein, 65, was suspended by the British Film Academy and was denounced by the Cannes Film Festival. The Producers Guild of America board is meeting on Monday to vote on Weinstein’s status with their organization.
Weinstein, who has denied the allegations in the New York Times story and is planning to sue the newspaper for $50 million, was fired from his own company on Sunday, October 8.
Even his brother — and former partner at The Weinstein Company — Bob Weinstein, has spoken out saying he was sickened by his sibling’s actions, telling The Hollywood Reporter, “I want him to get the justice that he deserves.”
He also admitted, “I was gonna actually write [to the Academy]. And I will do it. I am gonna write a note to them saying he definitely should be kicked out of the Academy.“
“I have a brother that’s indefensible and crazy,” he continued. “I find myself in a waking nightmare. My brother has caused unconscionable suffering. As a father of three girls I say this with every bone in my body — I am heartbroken for the women that he has harmed.”
Weinstein’s wife, Marchesa designer Georgina Chapman, 41, announced she was leaving her husband of nearly 10 years on Tuesday, October 10, with a source exclusively telling Us Weekly, “Georgina and Harvey are not speaking. She doesn’t want to speak to him, but she talks to his daughter Remy so that’s where she gets any necessary updates.”
The father of five is now seeking treatment for sex addiction.