Os­cars to dis­cuss re­sponse to Har­vey We­in­stein al­le­ga­tions

The Guardian Australia - - Headlines - Matthew Weaver

The or­gan­is­ers of the Os­cars are to meet to dis­cuss their re­sponse to the mount­ing al­le­ga­tions of sex­ual ha­rass­ment against the dis­graced film pro­ducer Har­vey We­in­stein.

The Acad­emy of Mo­tion Picture Arts and Sciences added its voice to the grow­ing cho­rus of dis­gust against the al­leged be­hav­iour of a man it awarded a best picture Os­car to in 1999 for pro­duc­ing Shake­speare in Love.

It said it would hold a spe­cial meet­ing on Satur­day to dis­cuss al­le­ga­tions against We­in­stein amid spec­u­la­tion it could fol­low Bafta’s lead in sus­pend­ing his mem­ber­ship.

“The Acad­emy finds the con­duct de­scribed in the al­le­ga­tions against Har­vey We­in­stein to be re­pug­nant, ab­hor­rent, and an­ti­thet­i­cal to the high stan­dards of the Acad­emy and the cre­ative com­mu­nity it rep­re­sents,” it said in a state­ment.

On Thursday, French ac­tor Florence Darel be­came the lat­est star to ac­cuse the pro­ducer of sex­ual ha­rass­ment.

Darel, 49, who first came to no­tice in Éric Rohmer’s A Tale of Spring­time in 1990, told French me­dia that We­in­stein had promised to help make her big in Amer­ica if she be­came his “part-time” mis­tress.

She said she first had to re­ject his ad­vances af­ter We­in­stein’s com­pany Mi­ra­max bought the 1993 fash­ion in­dus­try com­edy À La Mode in which she ap­peared.

“We had a lit­tle pre­miere in New York and he wouldn’t stop call­ing me so that I would come to the party after­wards. Be­cause I could see what he was up to, I pre­tended that I was with the lead ac­tor in the film so he would leave me alone,” she told Le Parisien news­pa­per.

The fol­low­ing year, pushed by her agent, she agreed to meet We­in­stein in a Paris ho­tel.

“He talked to me about a film he wanted to make about World War II and then he be­gan to tell me that he found me very at­trac­tive and wanted to have an af­fair with me,” Darel

added.

“I told him I was very much in love with my part­ner, but he said that that didn’t worry him and he wanted me to be his mis­tress for a few days a year. That way we could work to­gether. Ba­si­cally, he said that if I wanted to make it in Amer­ica, it would be through him,” the ac­tor said.

“I told him I had to go and left,” she added.

Darel joins a string of other high­pro­file ac­tors, in­clud­ing Gwyneth Pal­trow, An­gelina Jolie, Léa Sey­doux and Cara Delev­ingne, who have ac­cused the pro­ducer of sex­ual ha­rass­ment or as­sault. Three women have ac­cused We­in­stein of rape.

We­in­stein de­nies al­le­ga­tions of non-con­sen­sual sex. In a state­ment is­sued on Wed­nes­day in re­sponse to his wife’s de­ci­sion to leave him fol­low­ing the al­le­ga­tions, We­in­stein said: “I sup­port her de­ci­sion, I am in coun­selling and per­haps, when I am bet­ter, we can re­build. Over the last week, there has been a lot of pain for my fam­ily that I take re­spon­si­bil­ity for.”

In video footage pub­lished on Wed­nes­day, We­in­stein told re­porters: “Guys, I’m not do­ing OK but I’m try­ing. I gotta get help... You know, we all make mis­takes….sec­ond chance I hope.”

The film in­dus­try is fac­ing ques­tions about why it did not act ear­lier to cen­sure We­in­stein. His rep­u­ta­tion for sex­ual ha­rass­ment was such an open se­cret in Hol­ly­wood that it was the source of sit­com jokes and a know­ing ref­er­ence at an Acad­emy Awards nom­i­na­tion cer­e­mony.

An­nounc­ing the nom­i­nees for best sup­port­ing ac­tress in 2013, the co­me­dian Seth MacFar­lane said: “Con­grat­u­la­tions, you five ladies no longer have to pre­tend to be at­tracted to Har­vey We­in­stein.”

MacFar­lane con­firmed the joke was prompted by al­le­ga­tions made by Jes­sica Barth, one of more than a dozen women who have re­counted sex­ual ha­rass­ment by We­in­stein.

The Palme d’Or-win­ning ac­tor Sey­doux also joined the ranks of We­in­stein’s ac­cusers this week, say­ing she had to de­fend her­self af­ter he al­legedly jumped on her and tried to kiss her.

Writ­ing in the Guardian, the star of Blue is the Warmest Colour­said We­in­stein stared at her “as if I was a piece of meat”.

She added: “We were talk­ing on the sofa when he sud­denly jumped on me and tried to kiss me. I had to de­fend my­self. He’s big and fat, so I had to be force­ful to re­sist him.”

Bri­tish su­per­model Delev­ingne also claimed We­in­stein made un­wel­come ad­vances to­wards her in a ho­tel room.

In a state­ment posted on In­sta­gram she said she was left feel­ing “very pow­er­less and scared” when he in­vited her to his ho­tel room and tried to make her kiss a woman.

On Wed­nes­day night, po­lice in Los An­ge­les were called to a “fam­ily dis­pute” at the home of We­in­stein’s daugh­ter, a day af­ter his Bri­tish wife, Ge­orgina Chap­man, said she was leav­ing him over the al­le­ga­tions.

The Los An­ge­les po­lice depart­ment said We­in­stein was not there when of­fi­cers ar­rived and no crime had been com­mit­ted.

Pho­to­graph: Mike Blake/Reuters

Har­vey We­in­stein at this year’s Os­cars cer­e­mony.

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