The British Film Institute has joined other film organizations in severing ties with Harvey Weinstein, announcing today its decision to withdraw its BFI Fellowship that was awarded to the Oscar-winning producer in 2002.
It follows similar decisions by the likes of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Producers Guild and fellow UK org BAFTA in cutting off Weinstein, who was fired from the The Weinstein Company earlier this month after an onslaught of investigative reports alleging decades of sexual harassment and abuse by him. That news was followed by numerous victims coming forward with their own stories of Weinstein’s actions.
The BFI Fellowship is the UK film organization’s highest honor, with recent winners including director Steve McQueen, Cate Blanchett, Stephen Frears, Christopher Lee, Tim Burton and Helena Bonham Carter, and David Cronenberg and Ralph Fiennes.
Here’s today’s BFI statement:
A BFI Fellowship is the highest honour we can bestow, awarded by the BFI’s Board of Governors to individuals for their outstanding contribution to film and television. The serious and widespread allegations about Harvey Weinstein’s appalling conduct are in direct opposition to the BFI’s values.
The BFI Board has met and decided to withdraw the BFI Fellowship awarded to Harvey Weinstein in 2002.
Sexual harassment, abuse and bullying is unacceptable under any circumstances. Everyone working in the film industry – in any industry – should be safe and respected in the workplace.
We wholeheartedly support those brave enough to come forward and speak out. The film industry needs more women represented on every level, on and off screen.
Advocating for better inclusion and representation is central to the BFI’s strategic priorities. We are acting urgently by gathering together a wide range of industry partners, and with advice from Acas, to jointly develop a new set of principles to address bullying and harassment and help people in the industry to be better supported. This new set of principles will be incorporated in the BFI’s Diversity Standards, which we are strongly encouraging the screen industries to adopt.