The Board of Directors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has stripped disgraced mogul Harvey Weinstein of his membership in the organization.
The move comes after a New York Times report that alleged decades of sexual misbehavior by Weinstein, and a New Yorker story that brought more disturbing details to light, including allegations of rape. Further accusations surfaced throughout the week.
In its statement, the Academy emphasized that its decision was about more than just Weinstein.
“We [have voted to expel Weinstein] 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 statement reads.
As Academy standards go, it was a very swift response. But it leaves the question of other members like Roman Polanski and Bill Cosby, whose behavior has been equally as troubling as Weinstein’s.
The Academy’s decision also follows the British Academy’s announcement last week that that organization had suspended his membership.
Weinstein himself has been nominated for an Oscar twice, as producer of John Madden’s “Shakespeare in Love” and Martin Scorsese’s “Gangs of New York.” He won the prize for Madden’s film alongside producers Donna Gigliotti, Marc Norman, David Parfitt, and Edward Zwick.
But Weinstein’s Oscar season reach far exceeded those personal highlights. Films he distributed through Miramax Films and The Weinstein Co. amassed hundreds of nominations. Beginning with Jim Sheridan’s “My Left Foot” in 1989, which won actor Daniel Day-Lewis his first Academy Award, Weinstein’s films dominated the awards circuit as the independent film movement took off in the 1990s, leading to Miramax’s first major victory for Anthony Minghella’s “The English Patient.”
Some 29 films have received best picture nominations under the Miramax or Weinstein Co. banner, including Garth Davis’ “Lion” last year.
Read the Academy’s full statement below:
“The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Board of Governors met today to discuss the allegations against Harvey Weinstein, and has voted well in excess of the required two-thirds majority 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 Board continues to work to establish ethical standards of conduct that all Academy members will be expected to exemplify.”