The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has voted to expel disgraced film mogul Harvey Weinstein. The decision, virtually unprecedented and ferociously worded, was made in a special emergency meeting today.
“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,” AMPAS said in a statement after the meeting. (See it below).
“We do so not simply to separate ourselves from someone who does not merit the respect of his colleagues,” AMPAS writes, “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.”
AMPAS declined comment beyond the following statement:
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. 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.
AMPAS made no comment on speculation that Weinstein’s Oscars would somehow be rescinded. Weinstein won the 1998 Best Picture Oscar as producer of Shakespeare In Love, and was personally nominated for 2002’s Gangs of New York. Miramax and later The Weinstein Company had other Best Picture winners The English Patient, The King’s Speech, Chicago and The Artist.
AMPAS bylaws provide that any “member of the Academy may be suspended or expelled for cause by the Board of Governors. Expulsion or suspension as herein provided for shall require the affirmative vote of not less than two-thirds of all the Governors.”
Earlier this week, AMPAS said its Board Of Governors would meet today to discuss “any actions warranted” against Weinstein, the subject of numerous accusations detailing decades of alleged sexual harassment and abuse against women. When the meeting was scheduled, the Oscar organizers condemned Weinstein:
“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 Board of Governors will be holding a special meeting on Saturday, October 14, to discuss the allegations against Weinstein and any actions warranted by the Academy.”
Today’s AMPAS decision follows that of UK’s British Academy of Film and Television Arts suspension of Weinstein’s membership “in light of recent very serious allegations.”
As Deadline’s Pete Hammond wrote earlier this week, the Academy’s stripping someone’s membership after a scandal is largely unprecedented. “Roman Polanski would lead the list of Oscar winners who remain in good stead with the Academy,” Hammond wrote, adding, “During the scandal that surrounded two-time Oscar winner Mel Gibson, and which turned him for several years into the kind of industry pariah Weinstein finds himself being labeled as now, there was no action taken by the Academy; he remains a member and actually received a Best Director nomination for Hacksaw Ridge earlier this year.”
13 Hours Best Sound nominee Greg P. Russell was stripped of his nomination earlier this year due to campaign violations, as was composer Bruce Broughton a few years ago when it was revealed he had broken the rules in promoting his song “Alone Yet Not Alone.”
Deadline’s Pete Hammond contributed to this report.