The widely expanding aftermath from the greatest scandal in the history of Hollywood has forced the vaunted Academy to request an emergency meeting in order to find the best strategy to deal with the crisis.
“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,” declared the Academy in a statement issued Wednesday. “The Board of Governors will be holding a special meeting on Saturday, Oct. 14, to discuss the allegations against Weinstein and any actions warranted by the Academy.”
Even though, the professionally and politically influential producer has been strongly condemned of his “repugnant, abhorrent” alleged actions, the Academy itself faces difficult questions on it should efficiently respond going forward, especially considering the increasing list of alleged scandals of other industry players.
“One reservation that the organization may have about disciplining Weinstein is that doing so would create the expectation that it would adjudicate the behavior of other members caught up in scandals — among them Mel Gibson, Roman Polanski and Bill Cosby,” The Hollywood Reporter notes.
Not only did Weinstein co-found two massively influential film companies (Miramax and The Weinstein Co.), he has been honored repeatedly from the stage of the Academy Awards, several of his films and their stars taking home the coveted Oscar statue. Weinstein himself was handed an Oscar for Shakespeare in Love back in 1999 — along with the film’s leading lady, Gwyneth Paltrow, who has now come forward to accuse him of sexual harassment.
According to THR report, “increasing number of people“ both inside and outside of the Hollywood community, have started demanding the Academy to withdraw Weinstein’s membership. One of those who are putting the pressure on the Academy from the outside, THR informs, is the National Organization for Women (NOW), while the British version of the academy, BAFTA, has already suspended his membership.
The Academy, except publicly condemning the actions of Weinstein, hasn’t been taken any formal action against him. Technically, he has not violated any of the 8,427-member organization’s rules. If history is any indication, the Academy will not oust him, having only booted one member (for screener violations) in nine decades.
If the Academy chooses to follow BAFTA’s lead and suspend Weinstein’s membership, will it do the same for all those involved in similar scandals? What about the many industry leaders who have been accused of covering up Weinstein’s abuses, including Matt Damon and Ben Affleck? Will the Academy allow them to take the stage, thus elevating that which it expressly condemned as “repugnant, abhorrent and antithetical to the high standards of the Academy and the creative community it represents”?
This is Hollywood’s worst nightmare — and it’s been a long time coming.