When the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences expelled film producer Harvey Weinstein, the fallout was much greater than expected in Hollywood, Page Six reported.
Allegations of sexual assault and misconduct by Weinstein has opened a cascade of more sexual harassment and abuse allegations against other prominent Hollywood players.
“Harvey opened the floodgates,” an unidentified male member of the AMPAS board of governors told Page Six. “Now the Academy’s drowning in a tide of s**t. They don’t know what hit them.”
And they aren't quite sure what to do.
“[We] can’t regret [kicking out Harvey] because [we] didn’t really have a choice,” a board member said, Page Six reported. “Some members were quite vehement. But [we] didn’t have time to really weigh out the repercussions.”
AMPAS board members talked to Page Six solely on the condition of keeping their anonymity.
The 54-member Academy board represents a group of nearly 7,000 actors, directors and other industry leaders who determine who wins Oscars. The board held an emergency meeting in October to discuss "countless accusations of sexual misconduct" against Weinstein. The board decided he should be dismissed.
About 30 women have accused Weinstein of "sexual assault, abuse, or worse," The New York Times reported.
What is the fallout?
A prominent female AMPAS member explained the fallout:
“But they didn’t give themselves time to plot out how to deal with this going forward,” she told Page Six. “Kathleen Kennedy [producer of the ‘Star Wars’ series] and some other female governors panicked and felt compelled to act. They thought [Weinstein] could hurt AMPAS’ cred. Some of them did admit this was a slippery slope. But I don’t think they imagined how slippery. It’s definitely caused some problems and fights among the board members.”
Now, Academy CEO Dawn Hudson and newly elected president John Bailey are being hit with "a barrage of petitions, complaints and letters" about other alleged sexual predators, Page Six reported.
Among them are allegations of Kevin Spacey "assaulting multiple young men, Dustin Hoffman sticking his hands in women’s pants, and director Brett Ratner forcing himself on actresses," Page Six reported. In addition, a video surfaced that allegedly shows Ben Affleck groping a female host on “Total Request Live.” Nearly 40 women have accused screenwriter James Toback of sexual misconduct, and the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office recently said it is considering criminal charges in five cases against him. All of the men deny the allegations.
The board is also grappling with what to do with prior allegations about Bill Cosby, Roman Polanski, and Casey Affleck, Page Six reported.
For now, a task force is being established to sort through the complaints.
What has the board president said?
Hudson re-released a previous statement she made that said:
“[A] task force will finalize procedures for handling allegations of misconduct, assuring that we can address them fairly and expeditiously. This process will ultimately guide the board of governors in assessing if certain allegations warrant action regarding membership. Those procedures will be sent to you in the new year.”
Another AMPAS member suggested the board will have to revamp membership rules.
"...and it’s gonna get nasty,” the board member said.