Harvey Weinstein has already been suspended from the British Academy of Film and Television (BAFTA) and now the US Academy has decided his fate in an emergency meeting on Saturday. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has taken the unusual step of removing the embattled director from the Academy. The Cannes Film festival has also issued a strong condemnation of Weinstein’s behaviour. Sexual assault and sexual harassment claims against the once famed director have been escalating in recent days, allegations that Weinstein has adamantly denied.

Sending a message

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences called its members to an emergency meeting to review the Harvey Weinstein case. Members discussed the allegations against Weinstein and what actions could be taken by the Academy. In a statement by the Academy Board, the decision was made to distance themselves from a person who does not have the respect of his colleagues and to send a message that the age of complicity and ignorance in sexually predatory behaviour and harassment in the industry is now over.

An unprecedented move

In the 90 year history of the Academy, expelling a member is uncommon and in fact, no member has ever been expelled for actions that could be potentially deemed criminal.

Weinstein is only the second member to meet this fate. The other was actor, Carmine Caridi in 2004 who was accused of violating certain rules dealing with the sharing of film copies. He was 84. The Academy board reportedly got more than the required votes needed to oust disgraced film mogul Harvey Weinstein.

The fall of a movie power player

Without a doubt, Weinstein was a power player in Hollywood. The embattled director’s Miramax studio and company have been the recipients of 81 Oscars. Since 1990 his company has been nominated for or awarded, an Oscar annually and his films garnered more than 300 nominations. As a producer for the 1999 film, Shakespeare in Love, he also won his own Oscar.

Controversial revelations of sexual misconduct on the part of the film mogul have left the Weinstein empire in a tenuous business situation. While Harvey Weinstein has apologised for his behaviour, he has unequivocally denied any part in non-consensual sex. His company board which includes his brother had acted swiftly to remove him from the company after the allegations surfaced. While he is reportedly receiving treatment, his removal from the Academy is not his biggest problem. He faces sexual misconduct allegations from dozens of women and three have accused him of rape.