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The British Film Institute has joined a growing legion of organizations that are cancelling honors they previously bestowed upon Harvey Weinstein.
The BFI announced Thursday that it was stripping the disgraced movie mogul of his BFI Fellowship, its highest accolade, following a meeting of its board in the wake of bombshell exposés in the New York Times and The New Yorker accusing Weinstein of decades of sexual assault and harassment allegations.
Weinstein was awarded the BFI Fellowship — given to individuals in “recognition of their outstanding contribution to film or television culture” — alongside his brother, Bob Weinstein, in 2002. The honor was presented to him by Gwyneth Paltrow, one of the many stars who have spoken about Weinstein’s predatory sexual advances.
The move — which had been widely expected — comes after the producer saw his BAFTA and Academy memberships suspended. There have also been calls by politicians for him to lose his honorary CBE, awarded to him by the British government in 2004.
Last week, the BFI issued a statement about the allegations made against Weinstein, urging better representation of women in the film industry.
“Sexual harassment, abuse and bullying is appalling and unacceptable under any circumstances. Everyone working in the film industry – and any industry – should be safe and respected in the workplace. We wholeheartedly support those brave enough to come forward,” the BFI wrote. “The film industry urgently needs more women represented on every level, on and off screen. We don’t believe this situation would have taken so long to surface had there been greater parity of women in the industry. Advocating for better inclusion and representation is central to the BFI’s strategic priorities, and we have introduced a number of interventions to drive change.”
In a statement that came out alongside the removal of Weinstein’s fellowship, the BFI added that it was actively working to address bullying and harassment in the industry.
“We are acting urgently by gathering together a wide range of industry partners, and with advice from Acas, to jointly develop a new set of principles to address bullying and harassment and help people in the industry to be better supported,” it said. “This new set of principles will be incorporated in the BFI’s Diversity Standards, which we are strongly encouraging the screen industries to adopt.”
On Saturday, Paul Greengrass became the latest recipient of the BFI Fellowship, presented to the British director at the London Film Festival awards ceremony. While Weinstein was largely absent from much of the evening’s onstage chatter, Greengrass acknowledged that it had been a “difficult week” for the film industry.
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