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Harvey Weinstein — a once-dominant force in the Academy Awards who rewrote the rules of Oscar campaigning — has been expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in response to mounting allegations of sexual harassment and sexual assault against him.
The film academy’s 54-member Board of Governors, which includes such industry luminaries as Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks, Kathleen Kennedy and Whoopi Goldberg, voted in an emergency meeting Saturday to remove Weinstein from the organization’s ranks in an unprecedented public rebuke of a prominent industry figure. The move marked the latest blow in Weinstein’s stunning downfall and, in symbolic terms, amounts to a virtual expulsion from Hollywood itself.
In removing Weinstein from its ranks, the academy said in a statement, “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 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.”