In a statement released Tuesday afternoon, NOW called for “sexual predator Harvey Weinstein” to be removed following the numerous allegations from across Hollywood of sexual harassment by the Hollywood mogul after a New York Times exposé originally brought the scandal to light.
“This week The New York Times reported that Weinstein silenced numerous women who accused him of sexual harassment — and many more came forward after the article’s publication, including actors Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie,” NOW president Toni Van Pelt said in the statement. “We are witnessing the downfall of a powerful man at the hands of empowered women. It took tremendous courage for these survivors to come forward, in spite of the looming threat of personal and legal retribution from Weinstein, and the fierce shame that so many survivors experience.”
Weinstein has been a member of the Academy for more than 20 years, and multiple films produced by his Weinstein Co., from which he was ousted on Sunday, have gone on to win best picture Oscars.
“I am deeply grateful to these women,” said Van Pelt. “Their bravery has inspired others to share their story — squelching the toxic culture of silence around sexual assault, and potentially sparing other women the same fate. Weinstein has proven himself to be the worst kind of workplace monster: powerful and predatory. This week’s reports reveal Weinstein’s cold, calculated pattern of sexual harassment and assault — with his own employees used as pawns to manipulate women. Taken together, these accounts illustrate a disgusting abuse of power, wielded by Weinstein as an individual and with the weight of his company.”
Weinstein has lost his position at his company, and his name has been removed from the upcoming Weinstein Co. film The Current War — the star of which, Benedict Cumberbatch, also condemned Weinstein on Tuesday — as well as television shows that TWC produces.
“A sexual predator doesn’t deserve the privilege of an Academy membership — and all the opportunities to wield outsize power that come with it,” Van Pelt continued. “If Weinstein has power in Hollywood, women are at risk. Stripping his membership is the obvious next step toward achieving justice.”