Oscars chiefs expel Weinstein over abuse allegations

Harvey Weinstein, third left, at the Oscars awards ceremony in 1999. Photograph: Rex/Shutterstock
Harvey Weinstein, third left, at the Oscars awards ceremony in 1999. Photograph: Rex/Shutterstock
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Shamed Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein was expelled from the Oscars organising committee last night over allegations of sexual assault.

The Academy Of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences board of governors voted to remove the movie producer in the wake of a litany of accusations from stars across the film world.

The academy said its board had “voted well in excess of the required two-thirds majority” to expel Weinstein.

In a statement, they said: “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 wilful ignorance and shameful complicity in sexually predatory behaviour and workplace harassment in our industry is over.”

It added: “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.”

The news emerged after some of Hollywood’s most powerful figures met to discuss what action should be taken by the hosts of the Oscars. Comprised of leading artists, directors and executives including Tom Hanks, Whoopi Goldberg and Steven Spielberg, the 54-member board had debated whether to expel Weinstein from the academy.

The Oscar awarded to the producer in 1999 for his work on Shakespeare In Love may also be considered for nullification.

The British Academy Film Awards (Bafta) has suspended the producer’s membership, while organisers of the Cannes Film Festival said they were dismayed by the allegations.

Since accusations of sexual harassment first emerged last week, Weinstein has faced a litany of allegations, including three of rape.

Police forces in both the US and the UK are investigating allegations made against the mogul, who denies claims of non-consensual sex.

The scandal has destroyed Weinstein’s reputation as one of Hollywood’s leading executives, which he acquired as a co-founder of studios Miramax and the Weinstein Company.

The mogul was dropped by the firm’s board soon after being placed on indefinite leave. On Friday his brother and studio co-founder, Bob Weinstein, denied reports that the company were trying to find a buyer. Goldman Sachs had earlier confirmed it was “exploring options” for its $1 million (£752,000) stake.