Harvey Weinstein has been expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
During an emergency meeting on Saturday, the Academy's Board of Governors decided to remove him from the Academy, explaining in a statement to ET that Weinstein "does not merit the respect of his colleagues" after the claims of sexual harassment and assault leveled against him in the past week.
"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," the statement read. "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 film academy's board, led by chief executive Dawn Hudson and including Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks, Kathleen Kennedy and Whoopi Goldberg, is composed of 21 female members, and has taken steps to increase the number of women in the organization in recent years. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter published on Saturday, Weinstein's brother, Bob, stated that he planned to write a note to the Academy, encouraging that his brother be expelled.
Thoughout his career, Weinstein's films have earned more than 300 Oscar nominations, and 81 Oscar wins. The academy’s move follows the British Academy of Film and Television Arts’ decision to suspend Weinstein’s membership earlier this week. The Producers Guild of America is expected to hold a meeting on Monday morning to decide whether to take similar action.
Weinstein's fall from power follows The New York Times' initial article last week, which claimed he had sexually harassed women for three decades. Since then, several of Hollywood's biggest actresses, like Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie, have come forward accusing him of sexual harassment, with others, like Rose McGowan, accusing him of rape.
In a statement to ET, Weinstein's lawyer, Charles J. Harder, called The New York Times report "saturated with false and defamatory statements." He also said Weinstein and his team are planning to file a lawsuit, with any proceeds being donated to women's organizations.
On Tuesday, Weinstein's spokesperson, Sallie Hofmeister, said in a statement to the Times: “Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein. Mr. Weinstein has further confirmed that there were never any acts of retaliation against any women for refusing his advances. He will not be available for further comments, as he is taking the time to focus on his family, on getting counseling and rebuilding his life.”
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