British Film Institute strips Harvey Weinstein of high honor
LONDON (AP) — The British Film Institute stripped disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein of its highest honor Thursday, saying his alleged "appalling conduct" stands in opposition to the organization's values.
Weinstein was awarded a BFI Fellowship in 2002 for his contribution to British cinema.
In recent weeks, dozens of women have accused him of sexual assault and harassment. He has been fired by the film company he founded with his brother Bob and expelled from Hollywood's movie academy.
Weinstein denies having any non-consensual sexual activity.
The film institute said in a statement that "the serious and widespread allegations about Harvey Weinstein's appalling conduct are in direct opposition to the BFI's values."
It said "sexual harassment, abuse and bullying is unacceptable under any circumstances."
"We wholeheartedly support those brave enough to come forward and speak out," the institute said. "The film industry needs more women represented on every level, on and off screen.
Several British lawmakers have also appealed for Weinstein to lose an honor he was granted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2004, when he was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire. The politicians have asked the Honors Forfeiture Committee to rescind the award, which is one notch below a knighthood.
Weinstein has backed many British movies, including "Shakespeare in Love" and "The King's Speech."
London police are investigating allegations of sexual assault against him made by two women.
In the U.S., the Directors Guild of America said Thursday its leaders will address the "very serious issue of sexual harassment in the industry" at its Saturday board meeting.
Weinstein has had his membership revoked by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science, and the Producers Guild of America has voted unanimously to institute termination proceedings against him.