Will Oscar-winner Harvey Weinstein’s AMPAS membership be revoked?

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As I’ve said before, I’m not AS interested in the insider-y media aspect of the Harvey Weinstein story. I get that many people are interested in many different aspects of the situation, but all of the back-and-forth about who should have reported what and when is getting exhausting to me – the press, as a whole, failed. They failed women. They failed the victims. But I also understand how it happened – for decades, Harvey Weinstein’s reach was impenetrable. He could shut down negative stories with one phone call. He could threaten the biggest media outlets and successfully kill or create any story in a day. So, I get why people are interested in hearing why Ronan Farrow’s exclusive didn’t air on NBC News, his employer. THR has a lengthy story about what happened behind the scenes, but here’s the TL; DR version: Harvey threatened to sue and NBC folded to pressure. Ronan took the story to The New Yorker and the rest is history.

Meanwhile, I’m even less interested in the insider-y “what will the film establishment do about Weinstein now?” stories. Talk about locking the barn doors after the horses have bolted. The Academy Awards, the BAFTAs, the years of awards season hustling and globe-trotting, all of that was Weinstein’s perverse playground, his hunting ground as a sexual predator. So does anyone really give a sh-t, at this point, that the Academy (the AMPAS) called an emergency meeting about Weinstein?

In the wake of the allegations of sexual assault committed by Harvey Weinstein, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has released a statement, calling the disgraced mogul’s behavior “repugnant” and calling for an emergency board of governors meeting to address the issue.”

The statement read in full, “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 Academy said. “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.”

Weinstein, a member of the Academy for more than 20 years, long has been a major player at the Oscars. The two companies he founded, Miramax and The Weinstein Company, have distributed five best picture winners — The English Patient, Shakespeare in Love, Chicago, The King’s Speech and The Artist — and Weinstein himself has personally taken home one statuette, as a producer of Shakespeare. A growing number of people, both inside and outside of the Hollywood community, has begun asking the Academy to revoke Weinstein’s membership, although no Academy members, speaking with THR reporters, has yet been willing to go on the record. Meanwhile, though, the National Organization for Women currently is gathering signatures from the public for a petition calling for Weinstein’s ouster. And BAFTA, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, which presents the U.K.’s equivalent of an Oscar, suspended Weinstein’s membership today.

While Weinstein’s behavior has drawn condemnation, it may not specifically violate Academy rules, which mostly govern Oscar campaigning. The 8,427-member organization has only expelled one person in its 90-year history: Carmine Caridi, an actor who was found to have violated the Academy’s no-loaning screener policy after copies of movies that had been sent to him turned up online. But the Academy, as a private organization, technically does have great leverage over who it does and does not include in its ranks.

The Academy stopped short of immediately kicking Weinstein out of the organization today, although it left the door open in its statement to taking “other actions.” One concern may be the fact that if the Academy were to discipline Weinstein for his personal behavior, it would then open the door to adjudicating the behavior of other members caught up in scandals. For the moment, the Academy has declined to comment on how it is likely to proceed.

The Academy, who admits members for life, does not make public a list of its members’ names, but THR has independently confirmed that Mel Gibson, Roman Polanski and even Bill Cosby are on the rolls. Woody Allen never became a member. (Meanwhile, the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences numbers Donald Trump among its ranks.)

[From THR]

You can either laugh or you can cry about the sad fact that the Academy is worried about suspending Harvey Weinstein because it might mean that they would have to suspend other known abusers in their ranks. I mean, heavens to Betsy, they might have to suspend Mel Friggin’ Gibson!! They might have to take back Roman Polanski’s Oscar!! HOW SHOCKING.

Here’s something to keep your eye on: the New York Times reports that at least one board member of The Weinstein Company had knowledge of Harvey Weinstein’s payoffs to women he abused. Considering the increasingly detailed information we’re getting about Harvey using female employees to honey-trap and manipulate women, not to mention the details about Harvey actually harassing employees, I think it’s safe to say that most people within TWC knew what he was doing.

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20 Responses to “Will Oscar-winner Harvey Weinstein’s AMPAS membership be revoked?”

  1. happyoften says:

    Only when it become too embarrassing or expensive, will these old white entitled bastards kick him out. Like a boycott of the oscars kind of thing.

    If they threw out everyone that routinely harrassed women as their due, they’d be culling deep. I truly think they don’t find his actions as upsetting as his obviousness. Tacky.

  2. Tania says:

    I’m glad you brought up the press. I’ve had conflicted feelings about reading gossip sites lately because apparently even they (you?) knew about all of this going on and NOBODY did anything. I know there are a ton of reasons why, but since when has doing the right thing been so difficult?

    I read the post about Gretchen Mol having to deny being the subject of a lainey blind item and I haven’t been able to go to lainey’s site since then because it seems she – the touter of women’s rights and a “woke” person – was also complicit and perhaps an enabler as well, especially in light of all the stories hw planted about women who didn’t do as she demanded.

    I don’t think lainey will ever come clean with her part so that begs the question, will any gossip site? Women were being raped and their careers destroyed. People knew. Not just people in hollywood but people that run sites like this heard the stories but did nothing.

    So does that make me complicit as well? This has me really conflicted in the part we all played in hurting women such as ourselves.

    • Really says:

      I completely agree with you, it is good finally some honest about the willing role of the press on this and makes me wonder about other rumors and gossips too when the press is so demanding to trash or destroy certain person ( is someone paying/feeding as insider as revenge agenda).
      Lainey can cry all she wants that she was threatened but she can’t deny that she was a participant and she plays favoritism and full of double standards with some celebrities.
      One entreteniment site put an editorial that they will hold Hollywood accountable from now on and when talking about a movie or music or gossip if the news is related somehow to an abuser they will make it clear https://www.hypable.com/we-wont-forget-how-hypable-will-cover-hollywoods-known-abusers/amp/

    • Clare says:

      @Tania/others

      Could you expand a little in Lainey’s involvement in this? I used to frequent her blog years ago – but was eventually put off by her very obvious favourism/attacks on specific people…all a little too mean girly for me.

      • Tania says:

        Lainey, in 2009, posted a blind item which sounds like hw and many people guessed that the woman mentioned (the blind posted demeaning descriptions and painted her in a desperate mean light) was Gretchen Mol. That blind item has followed her since then. In light of all the revelations about hw, Gretchen felt she had to address those rumors and deny it was her.

        One of the revelations has come to light about HOW many people have known, had evidence, heard from reliable sources, etc. Lainey has posted tons about inside information, how information is curated, how to become the source, etc. and to me it all feels like she’s part of the corrupt system that allowed the abuse of women and girls. She has been playing one of the victims of his behavior but won’t admit to being a participant with that blind item, nor even acknowledge that she damaged a woman’s reputation based on “inside sources” and people “involved”. We now know that hw used the media and sites to destroy women who said no to him. I think lainey, who claims to be a woman’s woke activist, should own her part in this.

        I’m not calling out all women who were complicit, but this industry thrives in power and secrecy and if you knew something and did nothing, then you’re a part of the problem.

  3. Miles says:

    Instead of attacking the women who continually work with these abusers, can we have a conversation about the culture and system that allows these men to have positions of power. I mean good god every single one of these men is probably a predator and/or rapist. It seems it’s almost impossible to not have to work with one of these sickos. Probably explains why they all get away with it.

  4. Nicole says:

    Well the Oscars gave Polanski a standing ovation. We know where they stand

  5. Sixer says:

    He has an honorary CBE (one down from Jolie’s honorary damehood) from the British honours system and politicians here are calling for it to be rescinded.

  6. Esmerelda says:

    I would keep the pressure up on the companies, both Disney/Miramax and TWC. Condemning Harvey is not enough, they need to clearly state they will turn over every shred of evidence they have to enable a prosecution. This man is a criminal, his acts are criminal acts. And this criminal behaviour has happened on their watch and was probably hushed up with their money.
    Has the money I spent on Disney’s toys for my nephews been used to prop up an abuser? I would really like to know that.
    The companies need to do more. I find it strange that the attention is on calling out actors who might have heard gossip… why are we not calling out the executives who might have heard the gossip?

  7. Jules343 says:

    Kate Beckinsale just posted her story on Instagram.

  8. Aimee says:

    I hope they do kick him out. They probably won’t though. I don’t want this disgusting human being making one more movie in Hollywood. Just go away and stay gone.

  9. CharlotteCharlotte says:

    Kate Beckinsale just posted her Weinstein story to social media. She was 17 the first time he tried it on.

  10. teacakes says:

    They better kick him out, I cannot believe they dare to contemplate letting him stay a member.

  11. jammypants says:

    This whole Weinstein thing disturbs me. It takes one powerful man to end a woman’s career, but it takes scores of women standing up together to take down one man. If any man arguing over this doesn’t get, this is what I have to tell them.

  12. detritus says:

    MFers called this a ‘scandal’.

  13. Madly says:

    On a side note, I read an interview with Tom Hanks and was bothered by how he was talking about it. Mildly, like he did not want to offend anyone. He slipped out “poor Harvey” then caught himself. Ugh. Tom Hanks knew.

  14. Cbould says:

    It seems obvious that they should kick HW out & fast.

    It’s gross how lauded Polanski & Allen still are. The fact that they can still make films & be considered “artists” is sick. It’s also why women (and men) don’t report.

    Obviously they should kick out every known predator, right? Why are they afraid to stand up to abusers? When organIzations hide the sins of their members they delegitimization themselves in the long run.

    Stand for justice before your complicity is clear & unforgivable.

  15. Mrs.Krabapple says:

    “adjudicating the behavior of other members caught up in scandals” — now wait a second. There is a big difference between Mel Gibson being a jerk and racist in his private life, and who went on a drunken tirade against a female cop, versus Polanksi and Weinstein who USED THEIR POSITIONS IN THE INDUSTRY to commit rape. The Academy doesn’t have to “adjudicate the behavior of other members caught up in scandals,” what it has to do is stop allowing its members to USE THEIR POSITION IN THE INDUSTRY TO COMMIT RAPE. That’s not really asking too much. The Academy should get its head out of its @ss.

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