After an emergency meeting of its board of directors earlier today, The Academy Of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences has, for only the second time in its history, voted to expel one of its members, announcing this afternoon that Harvey Weinstein has had his membership from the Oscar-granting group revoked. Per The Hollywood Reporter, the board—which includes high-profile Hollywood folk like Whoopi Goldberg, Kathleen Kennedy, Tom Hanks, and Steven Spielberg—issued a statement along with Weinstein’s expulsion, stating, “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.”
Weinstein’s career has functionally ended itself over the course of the last week, after articles in The New York Times and The New Yorker revealed a decades-long pattern of alleged abuse, harassment, and assault against women, dozens of whom have come forward with their own stories since those pieces first broke. The sheer volume of allegations have made Weinstein, once one of Hollywood’s most powerful men, an overnight pariah; meanwhile, the film industry is being forced to wrestle with the fact that so many of its members appear to have willfully looked away from the actions of one of the most prolific accused predators operating in its midst.
Speaking of those institutional protections: Members of the Academy, and outside critics, have raised the question today of whether this bout of organizational self-examination will force the group to re-evalute the membership of other men facing similar accusations. (Weinstein’s only fellow expel-ee, actor Carmine Caridi, was kicked out for sharing Oscar screeners online.) For the moment, both Bill Cosby and Roman Polanski remain members in good standing of the group, which finished its statement earlier today with the following note: “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 member will be expected to exemplify.”