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France to Strip Movie Mogul Weinstein of Legion of Honor

  • VOA News

FILE - U.S. movie mogul Harvey Weinstein is seen during an interview in Paris, March 7, 2012, the same day he was named Chevalier of the Legion of Honor by then French president Nicolas Sarkozy.

There is more trouble for disgraced U.S. movie mogul Harvey Weinstein.

French President Emmanuel Macron said Sunday he has started the process to strip Weinstein of the Legion of Honor -- the highest honor in France and one of the world's most prestigious awards.

France presented Weinstein the honor in 2012 in recognition of his efforts to promote French and other European cinema around the world.

Four French actresses are among the 13 who accuse Weinstein of sexually assaulting or harassing them over several decades.

This latest blow against Weinstein came a day after the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which hands out the Oscars, voted to "immediately expel" Weinstein from the academy.

The vote by the 54 member Board of Governors was overwhelming, saying it wants "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."

It called the allegations that Weinstein traded professional favors for sexual ones "a deeply troubling problem that has no place in our society."

The British film academy suspended Weinstein’s membership last week.

Weinstein was fired by the board of his production company, the Weinstein Co., following an explosive New York Times report just days earlier, in which 13 women accused him of sexually harassing or assaulting them.

History of transgressions

At least three women accuse him of rape. Among the actresses who have leveled accusations of sex abuse against Weinstein are such major stars as Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow and Rosanna Arquette.

The New Yorker magazine reports 16 current and former employees The Weinstein Co. and Miramax, which Weinstein co-founded with his brother Bob, either witnessed of knew of Weinstein’s sexual abuse. According to the report, all of those employees said Weinstein’s sexual deviancy was widely known within the two companies.

The 65-year-old Weinstein oversaw production of many popular films over the past 30 years, including Shakespeare in Love, Pulp Fiction, Sex, Lies and Videotape, The English Patient, Good Will Hunting and The Butler.

Weinstein said in a statement "the way I've behaved with colleagues in the past has caused a lot of pain, and I sincerely apologize for it." Later, he claimed some of accusations reported in the media were false and said he would sue for defamation.

Weinstein has been a big donor in recent years to Democratic politicians in the U.S., including twice-failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. But with the sexual harassment revelations, Democratic political figures scrambled over the weekend to distance themselves from the disgraced filmmaker.

Several Democrat politicians, including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senator Elizabeth Warren, have promised to donate money they received from Weinstein to charities supporting women.

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