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Ovation Board Moves to Expel Harvey Weinstein (EXCLUSIVE)

The board of directors for the cable network Ovation has begun the process of removing Harvey Weinstein from its ranks.

Variety has learned that the board has voted to eliminate Weinstein’s seat and notified him of the decision — the first in a series of steps that must be taken before Weinstein is officially removed. The Weinstein Company, which Harvey Weinstein founded with his brother Bob and until recently served as chairman of, holds a small equity stake in Ovation.

“Due to recent events, Ovation’s investors have elected to eliminate the board seat once held by Harvey Weinstein and The Weinstein Company,” Liz Janneman, executive VP of network strategy for Ovation, told Variety in a statement. “The Weinstein Company’s stake in Ovation is very small. On rare occasions, Mr. Weinstein or a company representative attended board meetings and were supportive of Ovation’s arts and culture initiatives. By his own admission, Ovation finds Mr. Weinstein’s actions reprehensible and counter to the spirit of our company’s supportive, multicultural and artistic community. We stand firmly behind this decision and will continue business as usual.”

A privately held arts-and-culture channel, Ovation boasts more than 47 million subscribers, according to Nielsen data from March. It is the home to internationally produced drama series such as “The Artful Detective” and “Versailles,” and broadcasts arts-related specials and documentaries.

A source close to the Ovation board tell Variety that Weinstein was not an active participant in the company’s governance. He rarely attended board meetings.

Weinstein has not responded to the board’s notice of his impending ouster. The move to expel him was prompted by the flood of accusations of sexual harassment and assault that have surfaced since the publication of an Oct. 6 sexual harassment story detailing decades of alleged harassment by the producer and executive.

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