Academy Holds Emergency Meeting Over Harvey Weinstein’s Membership
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, known for holding the Oscars, announced Wednesday, Oct. 11, that it will hold a meeting to discuss Harvey Weinstein’s future membership with the group.
The planned meeting comes just days after reports broke alleging that famed Hollywood producer Weinstein sexually assaulted a number of actresses when they were in their 20s.
In a statement, the academy called the mogul’s behavior “repugnant,” and said that their Board of Governors will hold a “special meeting” on Oct. 14 to discuss if any actions are warranted by the academy, the Los Angeles Times reported.
“The Academy finds the conduct described in the allegations against Harvey Weinstein to be repugnant, abhorrent and antithetical to the high standards of the Academy and the creative community it represents,” the statement on Wednesday said. “The Board of Governors will be holding a special meeting on Saturday, Oct. 14, to discuss the allegations against Weinstein and any actions warranted by the Academy.”
As the number of people both inside and out of Hollywood called for the academy to revoke Weinstein’s membership, on Wednesday The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) announced that his membership in the organization had been suspended, effective immediately.
In a statement released on the BAFTA website, the academy said Weinstein’s behavior was “completely unacceptable.”
“Whilst BAFTA has previously been a beneficiary of Mr. Weinstein’s support for its charitable work, it considers the reported alleged behavior completely unacceptable and incompatible with BAFTA’s values,” the statement said. “This has led to Mr. Weinstein’s suspension, and it will be followed by a formal process as laid out in BAFTA’s constitution.”
As the Hollywood Reporter points out, Weinstein has been a member of the Academy for over 20 years and has also been a major player at the Oscars. Weinstein’s two companies he founded, Miramax and The Weinstein Co. have distributed five Best Picture winners: “The English Patient,” “Shakespeare in Love,” “Chicago,” “The King’s Speech,” and “The Artist.”
Weinstein himself also won an Oscar for his production of “Shakespeare in Love.”
Academy CEO and newly elected president John Bailey have conveyed on the surface that they are taking the issue seriously, they have not yet decided what, if any, further action they will take against Weinstein, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
One possible reason that the Academy stopped short of kicking Weinstein out in their earlier statement is that doing so would create an expectation that they would also adjudicate the behavior of other members caught up in scandals, such as Mel Gibson, Roman Polanski, and Bill Cosby, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Members of the Academy stay for life, and the group does not make public the list of its members’ names, but the Hollywood Reporter independently confirmed that Mel Gibson, Roman Polanski, and Bill Cosby are all members.