Academy expels Harvey Weinstein

Board aims to "send a message" about sexually predatory behaviour

by Jennie Kermode

Weinstein Photo: © 2013 Jeff Vespa/WireImage
In a meeting held today, the Board of Directors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences - the organisation behind the Oscars - has voted to expel disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein, with "well over" two thirds of its members backing the move.

"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 behaviour and workplace harassment in our industry is over," they said in a statement.

Harvey Weinstein's own brother, Bob Weinstein, had urged them to make this move, saying that Harvey had caused "unconscionable suffering." He also said that Harvey had once physically assaulted him and that he now wishes he had reported it.

A petition calling on the Academy to sack Weinstein was signed by over 140,000 people.

"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 statement added.

Weinstein had already been suspended by BAFTA.

In a further development, Bob Weinstein denied rumours that The Weinstein Company might be sold.

In a statement, he said: "Our banks, partners and shareholders are fully supportive of our company and it is untrue that the company or board is exploring a sale or shutdown of the company. Polaroid is moving forward as planned with a release date of November 22 followed by Paddington 2 on January 12. The first Paddington grossed over $75 million and we expect even greater success for Paddington 2. Test screening scores are through the roof. War with Grandpa starring Robert De Niro is scheduled for February 23, 2018. Business is continuing as usual as the company moves ahead."

Police forces in the US and the UK are investigating some of the allegations of sexual assault that have been made against him.

The 65-year-old previously apologised for some aspects of his behaviour but "unequivocally denied" allegations of non-consensual sex and sexual assault.

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