The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences voted on Saturday to oust Harvey Weinstein, the Hollywood mogul who has faced dozens of accusations in recent days of sexual harassment and rape.
The Academy’s board of governors met Saturday and voted “well in excess of the required two-thirds majority to immediately expel him,” a statement said.
“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,” the statement said.
“What’s at issue here is a deeply troubling problem that has no place in our society.”
The academy’s board is comprised of 54 members, including major Hollywood names such as Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks, Whoopi Goldberg, and Kathleen Kennedy.
Weinstein has denied that the alleged encounters were nonconsensual, but has apologised for causing “a lot of pain” to colleagues.
The allegations came to light in several bombshell reports from The New York Times and the New Yorker, which documented multiple women’s experiences with Weinstein going back decades. Dozens of women have now stepped forward in news outlets or on social media to accuse Weinstein of sexual misconduct to varying degrees.
Most of the alleged encounters detail “business meetings” that occurred in Weinstein’s hotel suites that turned into scenes of sexual harassment or assault. These accusations stretch back as far as the 1980s and include a variety of film industry figures, including actresses, assistants, and other employees.
After the stories broke, Weinstein was fired from the Weinstein Company, which he co-founded. The British Academy of Film and Television Arts also suspended Weinstein’s membership, releasing a statement on Wednesday that called his alleged behaviour “completely unacceptable and incompatible with BAFTA’s values.”
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