If there was one thing Harvey Weinstein was good at in his career, it was backing the right horse.
The disgraced producer was known for decades as someone who had mastered the political maneuvering behind earning attention for a film from the Academy Awards and thus, good word of mouth at the box office.
Weinstein has an Oscar himself, a Best Picture Academy Award for 1998’s “Shakespeare in Love,” a film almost no one expected to walk away with an Oscar.
He was personally nominated again in the Best Picture category for 2002’s “Gangs of New York,” another film met with mixed reviews but powered by Weinstein’s ability to build positive buzz.
Weinstein helped produce plenty of other Oscar favorites over the years, such as “Pulp Fiction” and “Good Will Hunting.”
If there was one place Weinstein seemed to rule, it was the Academy Awards — now those days are over.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on Saturday revoked Weinstein’s membership, something an artist is supposed to keep for life.
Being invited into the group is a validation of a person’s career and influence in the industry. It’s tough to get the boot. Bill Cosby is still a member. Fugitive Roman Polanski also still has a membership.
The 54-person board — which includes Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg and Whoopi Goldberg — met on Saturday morning in an emergency meeting and decided that the growing allegations and revelations about Weinstein’s abuse and harassment of women over the decades was just too much.
In a statement, the academy said in part about its decision: “We do so not simply to separate ourselves from someone who does not merit the respect of his colleagues, but also to send a message that the era of willful ignorance and shameful complicity in sexually predatory behavior and workplace harassment in our industry is over. What’s at issue here is a deeply troubling problem that has no place in our society. The Board continues to work to establish ethical standards of conduct that all Academy members will be expected to exemplify.”
Next up, The Producers Guild of America will meet Monday.
The British Academy of Film and Television Arts had already revoked Weinstein’s membership last week.
The producer was also let go from his own company, The Weinstein Company — although new revelations about his contract reveal he may have a case for staying.
His name has been removed from numerous projects, including television’s “Project Runway,” of which he had been an executive producer since its premiere in 2004.
Next up, The Producers Guild of America will meet Monday to determine whether revoking Weinstein’s membership is the best course of action in light of recent events.