LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Board of Governors voted to expel producer Harvey Weinstein during an emergency meeting Saturday held to discuss the the sexual harassment and assault allegations against him.
In a statement, the Academy, the organization behind the Oscars, said far more than two-thirds of its board voted in favor of expulsion.
“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,” the Academy wrote. “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.”
FULL COVERAGE: The Harvey Weinstein Fallout
Weinstein has been accused over the past week of sexual harassment by a number of actresses. Some allege he appeared naked in front of them, asked them for naked massages or otherwise propositioned them while discussing possible film roles. At least four women, most recently actress Rose McGowan, have accused him of sexual assault.
Weinstein, a 20-year member of the Academy, won an Oscar in 1999 as a producer of best-picture winner “Shakespeare in Love.” His companies have also been distributors of Oscar winners “The Artist,” “Chicago,” “The King’s Speech” and “The English Patient.”
The Academy has more than 8,400 members and it has only expelled one member in its 90-year history, “The Godfather” actor Carmine Caridi, who was punished in 2004 after screener copies of movies that were sent to him turned up online.
Some pundits have questioned whether The Academy will expel Weinstein, noting that the organization’s membership still includes director Roman Polanski, who is considered a fugitive in Los Angeles for having unlawful sexual contact with a minor in the 1970s, and comedian Bill Cosby, who has been accused of drugging and sexually assaulting dozens of women.
A petition on Change.org calling on the Academy to expel Weinstein had more than 100,000 signatures as of Friday.
The British Academy of Film and Television Arts, or BAFTA, announced Wednesday it has suspended Weinstein’s membership.
“Whilst BAFTA has previously been a beneficiary of Mr. Weinstein’s support for its charitable work, it considers the reported alleged behavior completely unacceptable and incompatible with BAFTA’s values,” according to the organization. “This has led to Mr. Weinstein’s suspension, and it will be followed by a formal process as laid out in BAFTA’s constitution.
We hope this announcement sends a clear message that such behavior has absolutely no place in our industry. BAFTA will continue to work with the film, games and television industries to improve access to rewarding and fulfilling careers in safe, professional working environments.”
The board of the Producers Guild of America will meet Monday to consider possible action against Weinstein.
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