Oscars board expels Harvey Weinstein from committee

Eva Green’s mother says her daughter was among those harassed by film producer

Hillary Clinton tells Andrew Marr she was shocked by the sexual harassment and assault allegations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, and says more should be done to stop sexist and misogynistic behaviour. Video: BBC's Andrew Marr Show

 

Film producer Harvey Weinstein has been expelled from the Oscars organising committee over allegations of sexual assault.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences board of governors voted to remove the movie mogul 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 British Academy Film Awards (Bafta) had already 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 have announced that they are investigating allegations made against the mogul, who has apologised for elements of his past behaviour but strongly denies any claims of non-consensual sex.

The scandal, which now has potential to see criminal action, has destroyed Weinstein’s reputation as one of Hollywood’s leading executives, which he acquired as a co-founder of studios Miramax and Weinstein Company.

The mogul was dropped by the firm’s board soon after being placed on indefinite leave earlier this week while he underwent “therapy”.

On Friday, his brother and co-founder, Bob Weinstein, was forced to deny reports that the company or its board were trying to find a buyer, saying it was “business as usual”.

“Our banks, partners and shareholders are fully supportive of our company,” he said in a statement.

US banking giant Goldman Sachs had earlier confirmed it was “exploring options” for its near $1 million (€845,000) stake in the Weinstein Company.

The bank’s announcement came amid questions about what the independent film studio’s board may have known about the movie mogul’s actions.

Allegations

Meanwhile, the list of female stars to go public with allegations of sexual impropriety against the 65-year-old has continued to grow on Saturday.

The mother of Casino Royale star Eva Green claimed her daughter was sexually harassed by Weinstein between 2010 and 2011. French actor Marlene Jobert said her daughter tried to avoid his advances, but alleged that he threatened to destroy her career.

She told Europe 1 radio in French: “My daughter Eva was a victim of this horrible man.”

UK actor Alice Evans also alleged Weinstein made a “sinister advance” towards her.

Writing in the Daily Telegraph, she suggested that her refusal to respond when he said he wanted to “touch your tits, kiss you a little,” influenced his decision not to give her film roles.

On Thursday, US actor Rose McGowan – one of the first women to accuse Weinstein of sexual harassment – tweeted that “HW raped me”.

The 44-year-old made a series of claims in several tweets to Amazon chief executive and founder Jeff Bezos.

She wrote: “I told the head of your studio that HW raped me. Over & over I said it. He said it hadn’t been proven. I said I was the proof.”

Amazon said studio head Roy Price had been put on leave of absence “effective immediately” and said it was “reviewing our options for the projects we have with The Weinstein Co”.

McGowan’s disclosure followed accusations from stars including Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie and UK model Cara Delevingne.

British actress Kate Beckinsale has also described an alleged encounter when she was a 17-year-old schoolgirl.

The stream of lurid allegations has seen condemnation heaped on the producer, with figures from show business to politics describing their horror and disgust at the scandal.

Colin Firth has expressed his shame at failing to act when a co-star told him she had been harassed by the producer. Actress Sophie Dix, who starred opposite Firth in Hour Of The Pig, has claimed Weinstein pinned her down in a hotel room when she was 22.

In a statement to the Guardian, Firth said: “She told me she had had a distressing encounter with Harvey Weinstein.

“I don’t think she went into all the horrific detail I’ve read in her interview. But I remember her being profoundly upset by it. To my shame, I merely expressed sympathy.

“I didn’t act on what she told me. It was a long time ago and I don’t know if she remembers telling me, but the fact that I had that conversation has come back to haunt me in the light of these revelations.”

On Friday, film-maker Alexander Payne told the Press Association Weinstein was a “bully and a thug” who was “asking for” his downfall.

Meanwhile, former US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton commended the women who had spoken out, telling the BBC such behaviour “cannot be tolerated anywhere”.

PA