For Only 2nd Time, Motion Picture Academy Boots A Member: Harvey Weinstein

Oct 15, 2017
Originally published on October 15, 2017 7:44 am
Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

These are words you will not hear again at the Oscars.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

GWYNETH PALTROW: I would like to thank Harvey Weinstein.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

BEN AFFLECK: Harvey Weinstein, who believes in us and made this movie.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Thank you, Harvey Weinstein.

MONTAGNE: The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has expelled Oscar-winning producer Harvey Weinstein. His ouster follows reports from dozens of women accusing him of sexual harassment, even rape over the last three decades. NPR's Ted Robbins has more.

TED ROBBINS, BYLINE: Harvey Weinstein's expulsion by the Academy's board of directors is, in effect, expulsion from Hollywood. It's only the second time in history it's happened. But Scott Feinberg, who covers awards for the Hollywood Reporter, says too many people wanted Weinstein out.

SCOTT FEINBERG: Not only the accusers of Weinstein but also a lot of key Academy members, including Weinstein's own brother, and also a huge segment of the general public who had signed on to various petitions.

ROBBINS: In stripping Weinstein of his membership, the Academy issued a statement saying it wanted to, quote, "separate itself 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 academy also said it will establish standards of conduct for its members. But Feinberg says the move presents the Academy with a dilemma.

FEINBERG: Certainly, you can say going forward, people like this, you know, are going to be dealt with immediately. But what about the people who did things for years or years ago and are still voters?

ROBBINS: Like others who are now the subject of rumors and members like Roman Polanski, who was convicted of a sex crime, and Bill Cosby, who's accused of them. The larger issue, the systemic lack of women in power in Hollywood, is beyond the Academy's direct control. But the decision to expel Harvey Weinstein, a man closely associated with the Oscars, sends a signal that those he abused were heard. Ted Robbins, NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.