Statement of NOW President Toni Van Pelt:
NOW is calling for sexual predator Harvey Weinstein to be removed from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. After decades of abusing his power to prey on women, the last place he should be is in Hollywood’s most powerful club.
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.
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. I am deeply grateful to these women. 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.
A sexual predator doesn’t deserve the privilege of an Academy membership–and all the opportunities to wield outsize power that come with it. If Weinstein has power in Hollywood, women are at risk. Stripping his membership is the obvious next step toward achieving justice.
M.E. Ficarra, email@example.com, 951-547-1241
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