In light of the recent action taken by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences against Harvey Weinstein over sexual allegations, two of the more than 50 women who allege that they were assaulted by Bill Cosby are now demanding that he be removed as well.
In an emergency session last week, the Academy’s 54-member board of governors (including Tim Hanks, Whoopi Goldberg and Steven Spielberg) voted to immediately expel Harvey Weinstein following numerous charges of sexual harassment and assault and the revelation that the Oscar-winning producer had paid off three or four confidential settlements stemming from the harassment.
As of October 19, the number of Weinstein accusers tops 40.
A statement from the academy—which produced the Annual Oscar Awards—read, in part, “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.”
With it being the first such action taken against a celebrity facing charges of sexual assault, the two Cosby accusers are questioning why Cosby (and other members like Roman Polanski and even Mel Gibson—who had previously been accused of sexual assault) remains a member in good standing.
By removing Weinstein but allowing Cosby and Polanski to stay in the Academy, the board has committed “negligent hypocrisy”, a letter written by the women and obtained by the Blast has stated.
At post, the Academy of Motion Pictures had not responded.