Last Week Tonight: The Academy’s Expulsion of Harvey Weinstein Is Kind of an Empty Gesture

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After an emergency meeting this weekend, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences officially expelled Harvey Weinstein, an action the Academy said should “send a message that the era of willful ignorance and shameful complicity in sexually predatory behavior and workplace harassment in our industry is over.”

This is, of course, a significant moment where a predator is being held accountable by the industry. Losing his membership symbolically sends a message that the Academy is dedicated to making sure that they do not tolerate harassment and abuse among their prestigious collective.

Or, at least, it would be if they applied the same principle to other members. John Oliver on Last Week Tonight along with many others, pointed out a somewhat hypocritical fact. “Yes finally, the group that counts among its current member Roman Polanski, Bill Cosby, and Mel Gibson has found the one guy who treated women badly and kicked him out,” says the host.

If the Academy wants to show that they truly care about sending a message and changing the industry culture to be more supportive to women, they have to do a full-on purge—not just PR recovery. 

“So congratulations Hollywood!” says John Oliver, “See you at the next Oscars whereand this is trueCasey Affleck will be presenting Best Actress.”

(image: HBO)

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