Why The Academy Decided To Expel Harvey Weinstein

Harvey Weinstein

On the off chance you have been hiding under a rock for the past few days, Harvey Weinstein ended his own career following a series of sexual assault allegations surfaced. The prolific Hollywood producer was removed from his own company, The Weinstein Company, as the fallout spread. And over the weekend, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences voted to remove Harvey Weinstein from its membership, stating these following reasons:

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Board of Governors met today to discuss the allegations against Harvey Weinstein, and has voted well in excess of the required two-thirds majority to immediately expel him from the Academy. 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.

The Academy has been treating the Harvey Weinstein situation like a standalone issue, recognizing opinions from members -- both anonymous, and those who have gone on record to the trades -- that removing Weinstein from the Academy membership because of these allegations sets a precedent that could then be used against other members who might have faced (or still are facing) similar charges. This is why the Academy, in its statement obtained by Variety, links the Weinstein decision to the handling of a growing, systematic problem plaguing the entertainment industry -- one that continues to expand as more stories, connected to Weinstein and beyond, come out.

In addition to the removal from the roster of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Harvey Weinstein officially has been fired from the Board of Directors of The Weinstein Company, costing him a seat on the board of the company that he founded with his brother, Bob, back in 2005. Though TMZ says this decision could get tied up in litigation if TWC doesn't go into mediation of arbitration with Harvey Weinstein before this decision is handed down.

We don't expect this to be the end of the Harvey Weinstein story, as more allegations continue to surface, and criminal probes increasing in New York and London, according to the L.A. Times. In the meantime, conversations continue in the film community about how to react to the bombshell that has been the reality about the extent of Harvey Weinstein's actions. And that's another aspect of this story that we don't see going away any time soon.

Sean O'Connell
Managing Editor

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Sean created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.