The decision was reached in an emergency session by the academy, the world’s top movie organization and home to the Oscars. The expulsion was effective immediately.
It comes after recent reports by The New York Times and The New Yorker about sexual harassment and rape allegations against Weinstein going back decades. He has denied the accusations against him.A prominent attorney said Saturday she is no longer representing movie mogul Harvey Weinstein as he confronts sexual harassment allegations dating back years, while a TV news anchor lodged another claim of misconduct against the movie mogul and a third board member resigned from Weinstein’s company.
In issuing its decision, the academy stated “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,” the statement added, “is a deeply troubling problem that has no place in our society.”
The statement said the decision was reached by “well in excess of the required two-thirds majority” of the 54-member academy board.
Only one person is thought to have been previously expelled from the academy: Carmine Caridi, a character actor who had his membership revoked in 2004 for lending DVD screeners of films in contention for Oscars that ended up online.
The academy’s swift and severe ruling against Weinstein may raise questions about other academy members who remain in good standing. These include Roman Polanski, an Oscar-winner who in the 1970s pleaded guilty to drugging and raping a 13-year-old girl, and entertainer Bill Cosby, who has faced dozens of allegations of sexual assault.
Weinstein, himself an Oscar winner as a producer of the 1998 Best Picture “Shakespeare in Love,” was ousted a week ago from The Weinstein Co., the movie and TV production company he co-founded with his brother Bob and which now is struggling to survive the scandal.
In an interview published Saturday by The Hollywood Reporter, Bob Weinstein called for his “sick and depraved’ brother to be kicked out of the academy.
Speaking more broadly, Bob Weinstein added, “I want him to get the justice that he deserves.”
On Wednesday, Harvey Weinstein’s membership in the British Academy of Film and Television Arts was revoked.
In a related development, British actress Lysette Anthony says she has told police that Weinstein raped her in London in the 1980s.
It was reported this week that London police were investigating a rape allegation against the producer relating to an incident in the ’80s. The city’s Metropolitan Police confirmed it was investigating a sexual assault allegation from that decade, without identifying Weinstein by name.
Anthony, who currently appears in the soap opera “Hollyoaks,” told the Sunday Times newspaper that Weinstein raped her in the late 1980s after showing up at her London home. She said she was left feeling “disgusted and embarrassed” after the attack.
Anthony tweeted on Wednesday: “Have just reported an historic crime . feel sick . so sad.”
If you have had any role in movies or TV production it was common knowledge that ole Harvey signed a sealed many a deal with his wondering penis.
The professional trajectory of Harvey Weinstein, the famed and feared Hollywood mogul, has been as volatile as his personality.
One of Hollywood’s most powerful producers, Weinstein co-founded Miramax Films, turning the studio into a behemoth that changed the way independent films were viewed. His name has been attached to some of the most famous movies from the past few decades, and he has remained a force in a film industry that has changed substantially since he began his career in the 1970s. Along the way, he helped propel the careers of people such as Quentin Tarantino and Steven Soderbergh and won the admiration of countless critics and others.
But his reputation for abrasiveness and his legendary temper have earned him more than a few enemies (victums) along the way, making Weinstein the frequent target of award-ceremony jokes and pointed anecdotes.
Matt Damon once compared him to a scorpion. There has been bad blood, too, with a former protege, Kevin Smith.
The complicated relationship Weinstein has with the industry was perhaps best summed up by a speech Meryl Streep gave at the Golden Globes one year.
“I want to thank God — Harvey Weinstein,” she joked. “The punisher. Old Testament, I guess.”
But a blockbuster story published by the New York Times on Thursday represents perhaps the most severe blow to his career. The story aired decades of previously unknown sexual harassment accusations against Weinstein, who now says he plans to take a leave of absence.
In 1979, Weinstein and his brother, Bob, co-founded Miramax, which would help bring art-house cinema into the mainstream.
The studio broke through in the late 1980s with a trio of hits: Soderbergh’s “Sex, Lies, and Videotape,” Jim Sheridan’s “My Left Foot,” which won Daniel Day-Lewis an Oscar, and Giuseppe Tornatore’s “Cinema Paradiso,” which won the Oscar for best foreign-language film.
Disney bought the studio in 1993 for between $60 million and $80 million, giving it an infusion of cash and the backing of a major company. Miramax continued its success, financing Tarantino’s 1994 hit “Pulp Fiction,” which went on to be one of the most influential films of the decade. The film, which was made for $8.5 million, grossed more than $200 million worldwide.
For an 11-year period from 1992 to 2003, Miramax Films had at least one its films nominated for an Oscar each year, winning best picture for several of them, including “The English Patient” (1996), “Shakespeare in Love” (1998) and “Chicago” (2002).
Other acclaimed films that came out of Miramax included “Good Will Hunting” (1997) and “The Cider House Rules” (1999).
And hits such as “Scream” (1996) and “Jackie Brown” (1997) kept the money flowing.
Miramax was known for pursing “Oscars with a drive — and a budget — previously unknown in the industry,” placing more advertisements, lobbying more voters, dismissing more rivals and sending out more freebies than other studios, The Washington Post reported in 2008.
But the Weinstein brothers became known for a ruthless way of doing business.
“Miramax ran on fear. They’re intimidating, they shout a lot, they foam at the mouth,” Stuart Burkin, who started at the company in 1991, told Vanity Fair.
Even as he was dominating Hollywood, according the Times, Harvey Weinstein was accused of serial sexual harassment.
“I think I took my eye off the ball,” Harvey Weinstein told Vanity Fair in 2011. “From about 2005, 2006, 2007, I was out of it. I thought I could oversee movies and have it done for me, so to speak.”
During that period, Weinstein also branched out into other fields, buying part of the Halston fashion brand, part of the cable network Ovation, and the social networking site A Small World.
“When I first got there, in 2008, the focus was not on movies,” David Glasser, the president of the Weinstein Co., told Vanity Fair. “Harvey was focused on Internet and fashion and the global media picture.”
Complicating matters, NBC Universal sued the Weinstein Co. in 2008 for making a deal to move the reality show “Project Runway” from Bravo to Lifetime. The Weinstein Co. later settled with NBC Universal for an undisclosed amount.
The year 2011 marked Harvey Weinstein’s professional resurgence. “The King’s Speech,” starring Colin Firth, was nominated for 12 Oscars, taking home the best-picture trophy.
Critics piled on praise, calling Weinstein the “comeback kid.”
“Look, there are four, five businesses we never should have been in and we ended up humbled and learned from that experience,” Weinstein told the Times in 2011. “We are concentrating on movies, pulling the band back together, and I think the coming year could be as good or better than any we ever had at Miramax.”
The next year, Weinstein cleaned up at the Golden Globes for “The Iron Lady,” “My Week with Marilyn” and “The Artist,” which would win best picture at the Oscars.
Streep paid him homage during that Globes ceremony with her “God” quote. As Gawker put it, Weinstein had “risen from the grave to feast on the bones of his enemies.”
That year, he was named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world.
In its investigative report about sexual harassment allegations against Weinstein, the Times reported that he had reached at least eight settlements with women over the years.
In a statement to the Times, Weinstein said: “I appreciate the way I’ve behaved with colleagues in the past has caused a lot of pain, and I sincerely apologize for it. Though I’m trying to do better, I know I have a long way to go. That is my commitment. My journey now will be to learn about myself and conquer my demons.”
As The Post’s Stephanie Merry put it, Weinstein’s statement to the Times “is a mix of remorse, rap lyrics, and an attempt to distract from his indiscretions by bringing up his fury at the NRA. Most importantly, it doesn’t contradict the allegations.”
The developments, along with the departure of yet another lawyer for Weinstein, are the latest fallout from allegations against the Oscar-winning producer that The New York Times detailed in an expose Thursday.
“My understanding is that Mr. Weinstein and his board are moving toward an agreement,” attorney Lisa Bloom said in announcing her resignation on Twitter.
Bloom didn’t respond to an email request for further comment. She previously has represented victims of sexual harassment and assault. Her work with the co-chair of The Weinstein Co. drew fierce criticism online. Bloom is the daughter of well-known Los Angeles women’s rights attorney Gloria Allred.
Charles Harder, another attorney representing Weinstein, didn’t immediately reply to a request for comment on the developments. A Weinstein Co. spokeswoman, Nicole Quenqua, declined to comment.
Lanny Davis, a lawyer who also was working with Weinstein, is no longer advising the producer, said a person familiar with the situation who was not authorized to speak publicly.
Davis declined comment, his office said.
President Donald Trump, preparing to board a helicopter to travel from the White House to a North Carolina fundraiser on Saturday, was asked by reporters to weigh in on the embattled Hollywood figure. “I’ve known Harvey Weinstein a long time,” Trump replied. When asked if he was surprised by the accusations, the president replied: “I’m not at all surprised to see it.”
Trump brushed off a query about his 2005 “Access Hollywood” tape comments, in which he bragged about women letting him kiss them and grab their genitals because he is famous.
“That’s locker room,” he said, echoing his characterization of the remarks after the audio was revealed during last year’s presidential campaign.
The allegations of sexual misconduct against Weinstein were detailed in a report this week by The New York Times. Weinstein is on indefinite leave from the company he co-founded while it conducts an investigation into the claims made by women including actors Ashley Judd and Rose McGowan and stretching back years.
TV anchor Lauren Sivan added to them, detailing an alleged 2007 encounter with Weinstein in a HuffPost report Friday. Sivan, then working at a New York cable channel, Long Island 12, alleged that Weinstein cornered her in the hallway of a Manhattan restaurant closed to the public and masturbated in front of her.
Sivan said she had rejected an attempt by Weinstein to kiss her. “Well, can you just stand there and shut up,” she claims he responded.
Sivan, who is now a reporter and host for Fox broadcast TV’s Los Angeles station, Fox 11, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. But she reaffirmed the HuffPost report on Twitter.
“Yeah. This happened. luckily I didn’t need a job or favor from him + didn’t have to be polite. Others did. Keep that in mind,” she tweeted, then followed up with a second post: “For those asking why I waited? YOU try telling that story 10 yrs ago. Only possible now because of women with bigger names far braver than me.”
The scandal’s fallout included the resignation of Weinstein Co. board member Marc Lasry, charirman and CEO of Avenue Capital Group, which was confirmed Saturday by a Lasry spokesman, Todd Fogarty. Lasry joined an exodus from the nine-member board, with billionaire Dirk Ziff and, according to reports, Technicolor executive Tim Sarnoff also leaving.
On another front, “Morning Joe” co-host Mika Brzezinski tweeted that “unless Harvey resigns” she will withdraw from a three-book deal she struck last summer with Weinstein Books.
“Authors, actors, and moviemakers should not work for any Weinstein company until he resigns. Not a close call,” she tweeted, along with this: “Harvey Weinstein needs to resign from his companies, face his sickness, and go into a long, self-imposed exile.”
Weinstein has exerted power in Hollywood for three decades, producing films including “Pulp Fiction” and “Shakespeare in Love,” for which he won an Oscar. But his stature has diminished in recent years and his company has suffered from a string of executive exits, layoffs mounting lawsuits and delayed releases.
The New York Times article chronicled allegations against Weinstein from Judd and former employees at both The Weinstein Co. and Weinstein’s former company, Miramax, over the course of several decades. The report made an enormous impact felt throughout the movie industry and elsewhere.
“This abuse of power must be called out, however powerful the abuser, and we must publicly stand with those brave enough to come forward,” wrote actress America Ferrera on Twitter. Many others, including Lena Dunham and Brie Larson also added their voices to the uproar.
The board of directors has pressured Weinstein to step down from the company he helped create, said a person familiar with the board’s deliberations who was not authorized to speak publicly. Weinstein has resisted, hoping to weather the storm. Discussions between Weinstein and the board have been heated and contentious, the person said.
Leadership of the Weinstein Co. will be assumed by Bob Weinstein, who is Harvey Weinstein’s brother, and David Glasser, the company’s chief operating officer.
Harvey Weinstein on Thursday issued a lengthy statement that acknowledged causing “a lot of pain.” He also asked for “a second chance.” But Weinstein and his lawyers, including Harder, have criticized the New York Times’ report in statements and interviews, though neither has referenced anything specific.
“We are confident in the accuracy of our reporting,” said a New York Times spokesperson in a statement. “Mr. Weinstein was aware and able to respond to specific allegations in our story before publication. In fact, we published his response in full.”
In an interview with The Associated Press on Friday, Weinstein attorney Lisa Bloom had both defended Weinstein and acknowledged he’d been “stupid.” She saluted the women who have come forward to allege wrongdoing but said many allegations were overblown and consisted of Weinstein telling a woman she “looked cute without my glasses.”
Congressional Democrats, including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, on Friday began giving charities thousands of dollars in donations they had received from Weinstein.