Harvey Weinstein Expelled From Motion Picture Academy... Reign in Hollywood is Officially Over...
Update: According to the LA Times, Harvey Weinstein's reign in Hollywood is officially over: the embattled film mogul — a once-dominant force in the Academy Awards who rewrote the rules of Oscar campaigning — has been expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Hollywood’s de facto governing body, in response to mounting allegations of sexual harassment and assault against him.
In removing Weinstein from its ranks, the academy said in a statement, "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."
The Academy's board of governors made the decision at an emergency session after investigations by The New York Times and The New Yorker revealed sexual harassment and rape allegations against him going back decades. In a statement, the academy said the vote was “well in excess of the required two-thirds majority.”
The film academy’s 54-member board of governors, which includes such industry luminaries as Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks, Kathleen Kennedy and Whoopi Goldberg, voted in an emergency meeting on Saturday morning to remove Weinstein from the organization’s ranks in an unprecedented public rebuke of a prominent industry figure. The move marked the latest blow in Weinstein’s stunning downfall and, in symbolic terms, amounts to a virtual expulsion from Hollywood itself.
As the NYT adds, although largely symbolic, the ouster of Mr. Weinstein from the roughly 8,400-member academy is stunning because the organization is not known to have taken such action before — not when Roman Polanski, a member, pleaded guiltyin a sex crime case involving a 13-year-old girl; not when women came forward to accuse Bill Cosby, a member, of sexual assault; and not when Mel Gibson allegedly went on anti-Semitic tirade during a drunk driving arrest in 2006 or pleaded no contest to a charge of battery against an old girlfriend in 2011.
Since reports of Weinstein's alleged misconduct toward dozens of women first surfaced in the New York Times on Oct. 5, the academy had been under increasing pressure to take action against him. On Tuesday, the National Organization for Women publicly called for Weinstein's removal, stating, "A sexual predator doesn't deserve the privilege of an academy membership — and all the opportunities to wield outsize power that come with it."
Twenty-one members of the film academy's board are women — as is its chief executive, Dawn Hudson — and in recent years the organization has taken steps to dramatically increase the number of women in its historically overwhelmingly male ranks.
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Bob Weinstein Speaks Out For First Time: "Harvey Has No Remorse"
Harvey Weinstein’s brother and former business partner Bob Weinstein – rumored to be the mastermind behind the twin exposes that helped topple his brother – has finally spoken out: he says he knew his brother Harvey was a cheater, but was unaware when it came to the extent of his “sick and depraved” ways, the New York Post reported.
He also denied a WSJ report that the Weinstein Company’s board is exploring a sale or shutdown in the wake of the scandal, saying only that he and his remaining partners have a plan for the business – adding that they would probably change the company’s name to something not so “familial.”
“I thought he was literally just going out there cheating in a pervasive way,” Weinstein company co-founder Bob Weinstein told The Hollywood Reporter.
“But as far as being in a room and hearing the description in The New York Times? No way. No f—in’ way was I aware that that was the type of predator he was… I thought they were all consensual situations.”
Bob, 62, said he was “ashamed” and “disgusted” by the dozens of sexual assault and harassment allegations against his brother spanning thee decades.
“I’m mortified and disgusted by my brother’s actions. And I am sick for the victims. And I feel for them. I feel for them,” the father of three said.
Weinstein, who described his brother as a bully, said he’s spoken with Harvey only around 10 times in the past five years, adding that he himself has been the subject of a lot of his brother’s verbal and physical abuse.
“I asked him to get help for many years. And that’s the truth. He avoided getting the help. We begged him,” Weinstein said.
Weinstein says he’s spoken to his brother twice since the allegations surfaced, and that he hasn’t expressed an ounce of remorse.
“Harvey has no remorse whatsoever. I have spoken to him… hoping to hear “Oh my God, what have I done?” I didn’t hear that,” he said. “I heard a guy who still was fighting to get back and I was disgusted by it. Do you know how disgusted I am?”
Bob Weinstein co-founded the Weinstein Company with his brother in 2005 and confirmed that he’s not putting it up for sale.
He also rebutted claims that the company could be facing financial ruin because of the scandal, saying the studio is in good financial health.
And he hopes – now that his brother is out of the picture for good – that the company will be able to move on from the scandal.
However, given the timespan during which Weinstein was actively abusing and harassing women, making settlements and offering NDAs to cover his tracks, it’s difficult to imagine that his colleagues at Weinstein Co. were totally in the dark about Harvey’s behavior.