Harvey Weinstein’s links to Britain and its film industry are under extreme strain.
The under-fire producer — accused of multiple cases of rape and sexual assault in two explosive reports in The New York Times and The New Yorker — could lose his honorary Commander of the British Empire honor, an order of chivalry that rewards contributions outside the civil service. Weinstein, who backed scores of British films, including the likes of The King’s Speech and Shakespeare in Love, was awarded the CBE in 2004 for his work with the local industry, but a group of politicians are now calling for it to be recalled.
An open letter to Prime Minister Theresa May, signed by several Labour MPs, described the accusations against Weinstein as “unacceptable and intolerable,” adding that failure to strip him of the honor would risk “bringing the honors system into disrepute.”
The letter landed the same day Weinstein’s BAFTA membership was suspended, with the British academy stating that it considered the reported alleged behavior “completely unacceptable and incompatible with BAFTA’s values.” It added: “We hope this announcement sends a clear message that such behaviour has absolutely no place in our industry,”
The news arrives after Weinstein was fired from The Weinstein Co., and USC’s School of Cinematic Arts rejected his $5 million endowment to grant scholarships to women directors. Meryl Streep, Judi Dench, Bob Iger, George Clooney, Jennifer Lawrence, James Gunn, Leonardo DiCaprio, Brie Larson, Megan Ellison, Julianne Moore, Seth Rogen, Kevin Smith, Lena Dunham, Judd Apatow, John Oliver, Patricia Arquette and Mark Ruffalo, among others, have spoken out on Weinstein’s alleged sexual assault claims.
He is currently still a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.