Motion Picture Academy Expels Harvey Weinstein

Ivan Pentchoukov
By Ivan Pentchoukov
October 14, 2017US News
Motion Picture Academy Expels Harvey Weinstein
U.S. producer Harvey Weinstein at the screening of the film 'The Little Prince' at the 68th Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, southeastern France, on May 22, 2015. (LOIC VENANCE/AFP/Getty Images)

Movie mogul Harvey Weinstein has been kicked out of the Motion Picture Academy following bombshell investigative articles detailing decades of sexual abuse allegations from dozens of women.

The Academy’s board of governors met on Saturday to discuss the allegations against Weinstein and voted in excess of the two-thirds majority to expel him.

“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 board wrote in the official statement. “What’s at issue here is a deeply troubling problem that has no place in our society.”

The board also said that it is working to establish ethical standards of conduct that all members would be expected to exemplify.

The board’s decision arrived on the same day that Weinstein’s brother, Bob Weinstein, broke his silence and criticized his brother as a predator. Bob Weinstein said that he intended to write a letter to the board, but it is unclear if the letter had reached the members before the decision was made.

Weinstein settled at least eight lawsuits with victims who alleged sexual abuse over the years, according to the New York Times. Three women alleged that Weinstein raped them in a subsequent article in The New Yorker.

After Weinstein’s abusive past was exposed, more women came forward alleging abuse and harassment by Weinstein and other Hollywood celebrities, exposing a culture of sexual abuse in the industry. Before losing his seat at the academy, Weinstein was fired from his company.

The scandal’s repercussions reached far and wide. Amazon Studios chief Roy Price was put on an immediate leave of absence Thursday, the company said, following allegations that he harassed a producer and ignored an actress’s claim of a sexual assault by Weinstein.

The Hollywood Reporter on Thursday reported an allegation by Isa Hackett, a producer on one of Inc’s shows, that Price had lewdly propositioned her in 2015.

Amazon said in a statement: “Roy Price is on leave of absence effective immediately. We are reviewing our options for the projects we have with The Weinstein Co.”

Hackett did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Reuters could not independently confirm the allegation. Price could not immediately be reached independently by Reuters and he declined to comment to the Hollywood Reporter.

Price’s removal creates uncertainty about the studio’s direction when Amazon is investing more on video content than ever before—some $4.5 billion this year.

The studio’s Chief Operating Officer Albert Cheng will step in as the interim chief, Amazon said.

Hackett is the daughter of famed science fiction author Philip K. Dick, whose book “The Man in the High Castle” served as the basis for Amazon’s eponymous show.

Also on Thursday, actress Rose McGowan said on Twitter that she had told Price that she had been assaulted by Weinstein. In tweets directed at Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, she criticized the company for doing business with the Weinstein Co.

A spokeswoman for Harvey Weinstein said, “Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein.”

Price has been integral to Amazon’s movie business, helping steer it through an attempt to crowd-source television scripts and garnering Hollywood awards for shows such as “Transparent.”

Amazon hopes original movies and TV shows will draw new people to join its streaming and shopping club Prime, and in turn buy more goods from the online retailer.

The studio picked up three Oscars this year under Price’s helm, though its failure to show at the Emmy Awards last month was seen by many in Hollywood as a setback.

Reuters contributed to this report.


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