LOS ANGELES (CelebrityAccess) — Embattled former studio head Harvey Weinstein, who helped to define the modern era of Oscar campaigning, has been expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences amid a growing chorus of sexual harassment and assault allegations.
In a statement, the Academy said:
"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."
The statement is a rare occurrence for the Academy, which in the past has taken pains to avoid commenting on negative behavior by its members, alleged or otherwise. The Academy still counts among its current membership roster director Roman Polanski, who notoriously fled to Europe after pleading guilty to a charge of "unlawful sexual intercourse" with a 13-year-old girl, and Bill Cosby, who stands accused of drugging and raping numerous women.
In fact, according to the New York Times, the only person who is believed to have been permanently expelled from the Academy was actor Carmine Caridi, who was kicked out for copyright infringement in 2004 after the FBI allegedly identified pirated movies on the internet as bearing marks indicating that it came from copies Caridi had received as a voting member of the Academy.