Academy calls Harvey Weinstein accusations 'repugnant,' board weighing action

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The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is dulling the golden sheen of one of the most prolific Oscar influencers of the modern era.

The academy issued a statement Wednesday addressing the multiple allegations of sexual misconduct against mega-producer Harvey Weinstein, news of which broke in an Oct. 5 New York Times exposé and was compounded by a New Yorker investigation.

“The Academy finds the conduct described in the allegations against Harvey Weinstein to be repugnant, abhorrent, and antithetical to the high standards of the Academy and the creative community it represents,” the statement reads. “The Board of Governors will be holding a special meeting on Saturday, October 14, to discuss the allegations against Weinstein and any actions warranted by the Academy.”

Earlier Wednesday, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (the U.K.’s equivalent to AMPAS) suspended Weinstein’s membership, saying the organization “considers the reported alleged behaviour completely unacceptable and incompatible with BAFTA’s values,” and that it hopes the announcement “sends a clear message that such behaviour has absolutely no place in our industry.”

Only one member has ever been expelled from the 8,427-member Oscars group: Carmine Caridi, an actor with small roles in The Godfather series who was ousted in 2004 after violating an agreement to not share awards screeners.

Over the past two decades, Weinstein has distributed five Best Picture winners through Miramax or the Weinstein Co.: 1996’s The English Patient, 1998’s Shakespeare in Love, 2002’s Chicago, 2010’s The King’s Speech, and 2011’s The Artist. His productions have also garnered scores of nominations and/or wins for performers, including Cate Blanchett (Carol), Judi Dench (Shakespeare in Love, Philomena, Mrs. Brown), Christoph Waltz (Inglorious Basterds), Nicole Kidman (Lion), and Meryl Streep (The Iron Lady).

Streep, Dench, and a slew of other stars have spoken out against Weinstein in recent days, with Streep calling his alleged behavior “inexcusable, but the abuse of power familiar.” Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Cara Delevingne are among those who have come forward with their own allegations of misconduct by Weinstein.

Weinstein was fired by the Weinstein Co., which he co-founded, last Sunday. Through a spokesperson, he has denied any allegations of non-consensual sex as well as acts of retaliation against any women for refusing his advances.

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