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Board votes to expel Weinstein from Academy amid growing sexual assault scandal

The latest blow to disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein’s career came Saturday when the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced it had removed him as a member.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the decision came as the result of an emergency meeting of the academy’s board of governors Saturday morning.

In a statement that followed that meeting, the board announced its decision to “immediately expel” Weinstein, who faces mounting allegations of sexual harassment and assault from alleged victims — including several A-list actresses.

“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,” the statement continued.

As The New York Times reported, there is no evidence the academy has ever taken such decisive action against a member in its 90-year history. In fact, The Hollywood Reporter could find only one member who had been removed from its ranks prior to Saturday’s vote.

Nevertheless, the celebrity-studded board of governors reported its vote to expel Weinstein was “well in excess of the required two-thirds majority.”

Among the arguments against expelling him, reports indicate, was a concern among some board members that it would now be seen as their job to serve as the moral compass for all members. As multiple outlets noted, the academy still includes Bill Cosby and Roman Polanski — both of whom have faced allegations of sexual abuse — among its members.

In the end, the board wrote that the vote was in response to an even bigger concern.

“What’s at issue here is a deeply troubling problem that has no place in our society,” the statement read. “The board continues to work to establish ethical standards of conduct that all Academy members will be expected to exemplify.”

The academy’s decision came on the heels of a similar vote to suspend Weinstein from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts. Another vote, this time by the board of the Producers Guild of America, is expected to vote on his future in that organization Monday.

[Featured image: Associated Press]