Oscars board stages emergency Harvey Weinstein meeting


Weinstein has already been suspended by BaftaImage copyright
PA

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Weinstein has already been suspended by Bafta

The board of governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is to review Harvey Weinstein’s membership at an emergency meeting.

The 54-member board is made up of actors, directors, and film executives, including Tom Cruise, Whoopi Goldberg, and Steven Spielberg.

The academy, which organises the Oscars, previously called Mr Weinstein’s actions “abhorrent”.

The movie mogul has been accused of a string of sexual assaults and rape.

Weinstein, who is believed to be in Europe seeking therapy, has insisted through a spokeswoman that any sexual contacts he had were consensual.

The emergency meeting follows an avalanche of accusations against the producer by more than two dozen women, including actresses Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Rose McGowan, who alleges that he raped her in a hotel room.

Police forces in the US and the UK are investigating the allegations.

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Media captionOn some red carpets, Harvey Weinstein is not a welcome subject

As the head of Miramax Pictures, Weinstein produced some of cinema’s most celebrated films, including Pulp Fiction, The English Patient, and Shakespeare in Love.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences board are expected to discuss the future of Weinstein’s membership. The British Academy Film Awards (Bafta) has already suspended the disgraced mogul.

President Pierre Lescure, the president of the Cannes Film Festival, where Weinstein was a regular, said the organisation was “dismayed to learn of the accusations”.

Weinstein was placed on indefinite leave earlier this week by Miramax, which he co-founded.

His brother, Bob Weinstein, was quoted by the Hollywood Reporter as saying he wanted Weinstein out of the Academy.

“I was gonna actually write [to the Academy]. And I will do it. I am gonna write a note to them saying he definitely should be kicked out of the Academy,,” the paper quoted him as saying.

Earlier, Bob Weinstein denied media reports that the film production company they co-founded, Weinstein Co, could now be closed or sold.

But reports in the Los Angeles Times said that financers had begun to pressure the company to sell and potential buyers were circling.

The Wall Street Journal also reported the company was “exploring a sale or shutdown” and was “unlikely to continue as an independent entity”.

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Media captionIt was “an open secret” a producer tells the BBC

On Tuesday, Weinstein denied allegations of rape detailed in The New Yorker magazine. On the same day, his wife Georgina Chapman said she was leaving him.

On Wednesday, US prosecutors defended their decision not to take action against Weinstein in 2015 after Italian model Ambra Battilana Gutierrez, then 22, alleged that he touched her inappropriately.

A subsequent sting operation recorded the producer repeatedly attempting to coerce Battilana Gutierrez, but the Manhattan district attorney’s office said the audio was “insufficient to prove a crime”.



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