Harvey Weinstein, the ultimate impresario of the Oscars campaign, has again reshaped the Academy Awards — though in a way that he could hardly have anticipated while at the zenith of his power and influence.
The allegations of sexual assault and harassment against Weinstein sparked a #MeToo movement that has removed others touched by the taint of misconduct from Oscar contention this year.
James Franco, whose acclaimed portrayal of Tommy Wiseau in The Disaster Artist, was bypassed for a Best Actor nod — he won at the Golden Globes and the Critics’ Choice Awards — amid allegations of sexual misconduct and exploitation. Similarly Wiseau, who believed the 2004 cult classic that inspired the film was such a masterpiece that he screened The Room in the window for Oscar consideration, will see his Academy Awards dreams dashed.
Kevin Spacey’s performance as John Paul Getty was erased from All the Money in the World after actor Anthony Rapp accused the Academy Award-winning actor of making sexual advances when he was 14 years old. At the time, Spacey said he was “beyond horrified” by Rapp’s account, though some 14 others subsequently have come forward with allegations.
Spacey’s eventual replacement in the role, Christopher Plummer, this morning received a nomination for best supporting actor, making director Ridley Scott, the film’s producers and Sony’s risky and expensive decision to reshoot the film a good one.
Kate Winslet may well have been overlooked for her award-winning performance in Wonder Wheel — perhaps because of its association with director Woody Allen. The Oscar-winning director is facing renewed allegations by daughter Dylan Farrow that he molested her in an attic when she was 7, a charge he has repeatedly denied.
A growing list of actors, most recently Colin Firth, have expressed regret for working with Allen.
Critical darling Wind River was similarly snubbed, despite writer-director Taylor Sheridan’s steps to wrest his film from Weinstein’s control. The Weinstein Company had acquired the film last August, but Sheridan and the producers took it back, refusing to allow the profits from a movie — which deals with sexual violence against women on a tribal reservation — to flow to Weinstein.
Weinstein has repeatedly denied sexual misconduct. He was expelled from the Academy’s membership in October after an emergency meeting.