Bafta suspends Harvey Weinstein’s membership over ‘very serious allegations’
The announcement came after his wife Georgina Chapman said she is leaving him.
The British Academy of Film and Television Arts has suspended Harvey Weinstein’s membership, effective immediately.
The disgraced Hollywood producer has been at the heart of a scandal that has gripped Hollywood and has seen stars including Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie claim they were sexually harassed by him.
A statement posted on the official Bafta website reads: “In light of recent very serious allegations, Bafta has informed Harvey Weinstein that his membership has been suspended, effective immediately.
“Whilst Bafta has previously been a beneficiary of Mr Weinstein’s support for its charitable work, it considers the reported alleged behaviour completely unacceptable and incompatible with Bafta’s values. This has led to Mr Weinstein’s suspension, and it will be followed by a formal process as laid out in Bafta’s constitution.
“We hope this announcement sends a clear message that such behaviour has absolutely no place in our industry.
“Bafta will continue to work with the film, games and television industries to improve access to rewarding and fulfilling careers in safe, professional working environments.”
The news of Weinstein’s suspension came after a number of senior Labour MPs signed a letter to Theresa May, calling for his honorary CBE to be taken away.
The letter to Mrs May – who has already expressed “concern” about the accusations but said it was not a matter for Downing Street – refers to Weinstein’s apology released last week in which he said: “I came of age in the 60s and 70s, when all the rules about behaviour and workplaces were different. That was the culture then.”
The MPs say: “These actions are unacceptable and intolerable. They were unacceptable in the 1960s, they are unacceptable now and they may well be criminal under US and UK law.
“These revelations prove that Mr Weinstein has fallen far short of the standards we expect from recipients of a CBE. His continued membership runs the risk of bringing the honours system into disrepute and, moreover, sending the deeply troubling signal that our Government does not take women’s voices or allegations of sexual harassment seriously.
“We are therefore calling upon your Government to act urgently and strip Mr Weinstein of his honorary CBE.”
Weinstein’s wife Georgina Chapman has described his behaviour as “unforgivable” and has said she is leaving him.
Ms Chapman, who has two children with Weinstein, told People magazine: “My heart breaks for all the women who have suffered tremendous pain because of these unforgivable actions.
“I have chosen to leave my husband. Caring for my young children is my first priority and I ask the media for privacy at this time.”
Barack and Michelle Obama are among the high-profile figures to condemn the producer, saying they were “disgusted” by the reports.
They joined a number of Hollywood stars, including George Clooney, Leonardo DiCaprio, Meryl Streep, Kate Winslet, Dame Judi Dench and Benedict Cumberbatch, who have thrown their support behind the women accusing Weinstein of sexual harassment, while Ben Affleck said reading the rape allegations made him “sick”.
On Tuesday, Paltrow and Jolie joined a growing list of stars accusing the producer of sexual harassment, and he has been dismissed from the Weinstein Company, which he co-founded with his brother Bob Weinstein.
Harvey Weinstein has rejected many of the allegations and issued a vehement denial over three allegations of rape which emerged on Tuesday.
Following the further allegations, high-profile women’s rights lawyer Gloria Allred issued a challenge to Weinstein to provide “justice” for his accusers through independent arbitration or confidential mediation.
Ms Allred was speaking alongside former actress Louisette Geiss, who claimed Weinstein begged her to watch him masturbate at a hotel during the Sundance festival in 2008.
It came after three women alleged that Weinstein raped them, in an article in The New Yorker.
Actress Asia Argento and former actress Lucia Evans went on the record to allege Weinstein forced himself on them sexually. A third woman spoke anonymously.
In a statement to the New York Times, his spokeswoman Sallie Hofmeister said: “Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr Weinstein.”
The producer had issued an apology for his behaviour before the rape allegations surfaced, saying he appreciated that the way he had behaved with colleagues in the past “has caused a lot of pain” and that he realised he “needed to be a better person”.