Harvey Weinstein was kicked out of the Academy of Motion Pictures on Saturday, a week after allegations of sexual harassment against the producer began to mount. The move by the group's Board of Governors is unprecedented, since only one other person has ever been expelled in the Academy's 90-year history.
The Board of Governors - which counts Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg, Whoopi Goldberg and Kathleen Kennedy among its 54 members - held an emergency meeting in Beverly Hills on Saturday. Hours later, it issued a statement to The Hollywood Reporter.
They voted "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."
The statement continued, "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."
Although the results of the vote were not revealed, the board said "well in excess of the two-thirds majority" voted to kick Weinstein out.
Weinstein is only the second member of the Academy to be kicked out since it was founded in 1927. The other member was actor Carmine Caridi, who was expelled in 2004 when screeners he loaned to friends wound up online.
Weinstein spent the majority of his career as a producer wooing Academy voters, as films released by Miramax and The Weinstein Company earned over 300 Oscar nominations. His companies released five Best Picture winners, and Weinstein won an Oscar himself as a producer on 1998's Shakespeare in Love. The Miramax releases The English Patient and Chicago and TWC's The King's Speech and The Artist also won Best Picture. At one point, Weinstein was so influential at the Oscars that four out of the five Best Picture nominees in 2003 were released by Miramax.
His stature in Hollywood crumbled after reports by The New York Times and the New Yorker revealed dozens of sexual harassment allegations dating back decades. The Washington Post reported on three more cases of alleged sexual harassment.