In the wake of sexual assault allegations committed by Harvey Weinstein, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has called for an emergency board meeting to address the fallout.
The 54-person board of executives, actors, and directors – including Stephen Spielberg, Tom Hanks, and Whoopi Goldberg – released a statement on Wednesday condemning Weinstein’s behavior as “repugnant” and offered reassurances that the film industry won’t tolerate such behavior in the future.
“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,” the Academy said in the statement.
“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.”
Though the Academy, along with several other film groups including the British Academy of Film and Television Arts have suspended Weinstein’s membership and distanced themselves from the disgraced film producer, the fact that Weinstein’s behavior was an open secret in Hollywood remains difficult to conceal.
Indeed, actress Jane Fonda admitted to knowing about Weinstein’s conduct for a year, claiming “it wasn’t her place” to come forward about him.
Tom Hanks even commented in an interview with The New York Times that he knew “all kinds of people” like Weinstein who “just love hitting on, or making the lives of underlings some degree of miserable because they can.”
French actress Emma de Caunes also recently pointed out that Weinstein’s behavior was well-known in the industry.
“I know that everybody—I mean everybody—in Hollywood knows that it’s happening,” de Caunes said. “He’s not even really hiding. I mean, the way he does it, so many people are involved and see what’s happening. But everyone’s too scared to say anything.”
Weinstein’s predatory behavior has also been referenced by Tina Fey’s show 30 Rock and by Seth McFarlane at the 2013 Oscars.
For the Hollywood elite to gather for an “emergency meeting” under the guise of addressing the issue of sexual harassment and assault in the industry is laughable considering Hollywood’s corrupt culture is culpable in protecting and even facilitating Weinstein’s predatory habits.
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