Weinstein becomes only the second person kicked out of the Academy, but many are wondering why just him

It’s an admittedly low bar, but apparently disgraced movie mogul and sexual assaulter Harvey Weinstein no longer “merit[s] the respect of his colleagues” in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which called an emergency meeting of its 54-member board of governors on Saturday to revoke the Oscar winner’s lifetime membership in the group.

Shortly thereafter, the Academy issued the following statement, according to The Hollywood Reporter:

The board 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.”

Further, “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.”

“Shakespeare in Love’ Best Actress winner Gwyneth Paltrow (center) is joined by Harvey Weinstein (center lett) , David Parfitt (left), Donna Gigliotti,Edward Zwick and Marc Norman (right) backstage as they celebrated their win of Best Picture at the 1999 Academy Awards in Hollywood, California, March 21, 1999.(Photo by Bob Riha, Jr./Getty Images)

Bylaws state that any member can be expelled “for cause” with a two-thirds majority, and the vote in this case was “well in excess” of that threshold, according to the Academy.

Two Weinstein-run companies, The Weinstein Company and Miramax, gained over 300 Oscar nominations, five of which went on to win Best Picture.

THR reports that the Academy’s action “is virtually unprecedented,” coming in response to Weinstein’s long history of sexual harassment, assault, and even rape. In fact, in the entire 90-year history of the organization only one other person has been expelled – actor Carmine Caridi, when films he had been sent to screen were found to have been released illegally online.

In other words, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will put up with a hell of a lot from its members. A fact that hasn’t gone unnoticed in the Twitterverse.

THR reports that some members of the Academy did indeed “express concerns” that the organization would have to police its members’ behavior, especially since Cosby and Polanski are still members. But the board still voted to reject him.

Maybe a little bit of policing is a good thing.

Op-ed views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of BizPac Review.

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Scott Morefield

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