Movies | October 13, 2017 10:36 am

What Academy Members Say About Expelling Harvey Weinstein

The board of governors will meet Saturday to decide what action to take against Weinstein.

Harvey Weinstein
Harvey Weinstein in Tribeca on March 7, 2017 in New York City. (Alo Ceballos/GC Images)
GC Images

The 54 members of the board of governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences are meeting Saturday to decide whether or not to strip Harvey Weinstein of his membership in the wake of sexual assault, harassment and rape allegations against the former media mogul.

For some, The Hollywood Reporter writes, the answer is clear.

“The Academy should consider condemning him in the most forceful terms,” said former Academy president Sid Ganis to The Hollywood Reporter. “Kick him out? He’s already out.”

But though others are just as serious about condemning Weinstein’s actions, they are unsure if kicking Weinstein out would set a bad precedent, one where the Academy starts policing the behavior of its 8,427 members, writes The Hollywood Reporter. 

Bruce Feldman, a member of the publicists branch, says that he would like to see Weinstein “booted out of the Academy” but that doing so would raise questions about Roman Polanski and Bill Cosby and many others.

“And then there are the legions of big-shot producers and execs who belittle and scream at everyone daily. Is persistent abusiveness okay, but sexual predation isn’t?” he said to The Hollywood Reporter. 

The Academy has only expelled one member during its 90-year history. Carmine Caridi was kicked out after moves that were sent to him turned up online, which violated the Academy’s “no-loaning screener policy,” according to The Hollywood Reporter. 

After dozens of women came forward with sexual assault, harassment and rape allegations against Weinstein, the Academy released a statement saying it “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.”

Executive branch member Donald Rosenfeld thinks the Academy should take this time to create “an honor code, if broken by any member, that will result in the same exclusion from the Academy.” He also said that what Weinstein has done to these “young, hopeful lives” is “sick, evil and criminal behavior,” and “can never be forgiven,” according to The Hollywood Reporter. 

CBS Films president Terry Press commended on a Vanity Fair article about Weinstein’s accusers on Facebook, saying, “If the Academy does not kick him out, I am resigning my Academy membership.”

But Mitchell Block, a member of the short films and feature animation branch, said that the problem is bigger than Weinstein, and for the Academy to treat Weinstein as “if he is the only creep in the business is wrong,” according to The Hollywood Reporter. He thinks the Academy should not be hasty, and should wait to take action until it fully understands the scope of the problem and comes up with a clear solution.