Is Harvey Weinstein’s career in the film industry over?
In the past two weeks, the former film mogul seems to have been shunned by almost every institution and company affiliated with him.
On Saturday, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences renounced Weinstein’s lifetime membership in punishment for the many allegations of sexual harassment and sexual assault levied against him. The Academy, which hosts the Oscars, had previously called Weinstein’s alleged activities “repugnant.”
CNN reported that the decision was made during an emergency meeting of the Academy’s oversight body, the Board of Governors. The bold move comes after several days of claims against Weinstein by more than thirty women who claimed the producer made unwanted and inappropriate advances.
The list of those accusing Weinstein of sexual misconduct includes: Ashley Judd, Kate Beckinsale, Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie, Cara Delevingne, Rose McGowan, Mira Sorvino, tv reporter Lauren Silvan, and more.
The co-founder of Miramax and The Weinstein Co. was denounced by notable public figures including: the Obamas, Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks, Hillary Clinton, Lena Dunham, Matt Damon, Emma Watson, George Clooney, Julia Roberts, Mika Brzezinski, Ryan Gosling, Oprah Winfrey, and Rob Reiner.
The under-fire producer...could lose his honorary Commander of the British Empire honor, an order of chivalry that rewards contributions outside the civil service. Weinstein, who backed scores of British films...was awarded the CBE in 2004 for his work with the local industry, but a group of politicians are now calling for it to be recalled. An open letter to Prime Minister Theresa May, signed by several Labour MPs, described the accusations against Weinstein as "unacceptable and intolerable," adding that failure to strip him of the honor would risk "bringing the honors system into disrepute."
The Weinstein Co. issued a statement on October 8 stating that its board of directors had fired Harvey Weinstein due to allegations indicating a history of misconduct. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Harvey Weinstein’s brother and former business partner Bob Weinstein called him “depraved” and “a predator.”
It does not look like Harvey Weinstein will be able to lead another film company soon because multiple industry organizations have denounced him. The list of motion picture groups to denounce the industry veteran includes: Venice Film Festival, USC School of Cinematic Arts, and Berlin Film Festival.
These actions point to a pattern of behavior that merits only the clearest and most unequivocal condemnation...Our thoughts go out to the victims, to those who have had the courage to testify and to all the others...May this case help us once again to denounce all such serious and unacceptable practices."
The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) suspended Harvey Weinstein’s membership on October 11, 2017 and said in a statement that the suspension “will be followed by a formal process as laid out in BAFTA’s constitution.”
Mr. Weinstein is the first person to be banished from the ranks of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences over sexual harassment. Industry insiders are wondering whether the bold move will set a precedent. The New York Times reported in its media section:
(The) academy has long insisted that professional achievement is what counts. Bill Cosby is still a member. So is Roman Polanski. Mel Gibson was never kicked out, even after his 2006 anti-Semitic tirade was followed by a 2011 no-contest plea to battering a former girlfriend. But the academy stands at a precipice. Harvey Weinstein could change everything.
It has yet to be made public what Harvey Weinstein’s personal assets are. One can assume that, given over twenty years of success and several hit films, Weinstein has access to substantial funds. But he faces attorney fees not only for harassment charges but also for potential divorce proceedings. According to CNN, Weinstein’s wife Georgina Chapman announced that she is leaving the beleaguered producer.