The Directors Guild has begun the process of kicking Harvey Weinstein out of the guild. Following today’s meeting of its national board of directors, the DGA president Thomas Schlamme said that the guild filed disciplinary charges against him on October 13.
“The DGA has a long-standing practice of not commenting on internal union matters, but has decided to make an exception in this case to acknowledge the filing of charges,” Schlamme said in a statement. “However, because of due process concerns that are a part of federal requirements for labor unions, the DGA cannot comment further.”
The board, meanwhile, released the following statement:
The DGA condemns sexual harassment. There must be no tolerance for such deplorable abuses of power. This isn’t about one person. We must recognize sexual harassment is endemic in our society, and painfully, in our industry.
We believe that every individual has the right to a safe workplace. The unfortunate truth is that there are those who abuse the power that they hold.
For far too long, many have not spoken out – directors, agents, crew, executives, performers, producers, writers. This shameful code of complicity must be broken.
As directors and team members who solve problems for a living, we are committed to eradicating the scourge of sexual harassment on our industry.
“As a man in this industry,” Schlamme said, “I have a responsibility to not just condemn the actions of others, but to look inside myself. I ask all of us to do the same. Unless we recognize what has become so acceptable in our culture and how we possibly, even unconsciously, are participants, everything else will be meaningless. Changing culture is a long and difficult journey, but the first step towards that is acknowledgment. With that, I am hopeful that this story will be different than the countless other stories that over the years have been ignored or dismissed. And with the hard work that needs to be done, we can finally be on a road to a better and safer future for all.”
Weinstein, who has been accused of sexually harassing, assaulting or raping more than 40 women, has over 300 producing credits but only two directing credits, both from the 1980s. He’s already been expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences and proceedings have also begun to kick him out of the TV Academy and the Producers Guild.
Bill Cosby, who’s still facing criminal charges that he drugged and raped numerous women, is still a DGA member, although it’s unclear if the DGA plans to take steps to expel him.
Victor Salva is also a member. In 1988, he was convicted of oral copulation with the 12-year-old star of Clownhouse, his first feature film, and he served 19 months of a three-year sentence. He also pleaded guilty to lewd and lascivious conduct and of procuring a child for pornography. After his release from prison, he went on to direct such films as Powder, Jeepers Creepers, and Jeepers Creepers II.
And Jace Alexander, formerly a DGA vice president, is still a member even though he’s currently serving 10 years probation for possession of child pornography. Roman Polanski, who drugged and raped an underage girl, is no longer a member, although it’s unclear if he was expelled or quit.
Jamaa Fanaka was the last known member to have been kicked out of the DGA for reasons other than non-payment of dues. He was kicked out in 1998 for “conduct unbecoming a member” after a trial board found that he’d threatened Paris Barclay – who would later become DGA president – and for disrupting DGA meetings with “belligerent outbursts.”
Roman Polanski, who raped an underage girl, is no longer a member of the guild. It’s not clear if he was expelled or just quit paying his dues.
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