Arts & Entertainment

Motion picture Academy kicks out Harvey Weinstein

Producer Harvey Weinstein poses as he arrives at amfAR's 24th Cinema Against AIDS Gala on May 25, 2017 at the Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc in Cap d'Antibes, France.
Producer Harvey Weinstein poses as he arrives at amfAR's 24th Cinema Against AIDS Gala on May 25, 2017 at the Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc in Cap d'Antibes, France.
ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP/Getty Images

For only the second time in its 90-year history, one of the entertainment industry's most prominent organizations has expelled a member.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences — the people who hand out the Oscars — have ousted movie producer Harvey Weinstein.

Dozens of actresses and models have accused him of sexual harassment and assault after the New York Times and the New Yorker published bombshell stories about his behavior.

Members of the Academy met Saturday afternoon in Hollywood.

Film critic Claudia Puig is a former consultant to the Academy and also heads up the L.A. Film Critics Association. She says these allegations have been damaging industry-wide.

"Not only of course on Weinstein, that's a huge smear, but it's a smear on Hollywood. It's a smear on the film industry. And since the Academy has awarded him so many times, in a tangential way, it's been a smear on the Academy, too. So they want to erase that and not be associated with that," she told KPCC.

The Academy issued a statement that read:

"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."

Puig said that although the Academy was under intense pressure to do something, not all members wanted him expelled.

Some argued the Academy couldn't police bad behavior in Hollywood. Others wanted the board to call for a clear policy to deal with harassment in the entertainment industry.

"You have a lot of people who have spoken out who are members of the Academy. Jeffrey Katzenberg. James Shamus, who was the former head of Focus Films. The president of CBS Films Terry Press spoke out and said 'If you don't do something, I will resign,'" she told KPCC.

Although membership in the Academy is largely symbolic, Puig said the move is still meaningful.

Weinstein's namesake production company, which he co-founded with his brother Bob, fired him last week.