University may strip degree from Weinstein, film academy cuts ties

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Associated Press

The University at Buffalo is moving to have alumnus Harvey Weinstein's honorary degree revoked in response to multiple accusations against the Hollywood mogul.

One of Hollywood's most powerful producers, Weinstein has been fired by the company he co-founded after multiple women accused him of sexual harassment and assault. He denies non-consensual activity.

The university said Wednesday (this morning, NZT) it is "well aware" of the allegations against Weinstein, who was an English major there from 1969-1973.

The university says it has begun the process for revoking the honorary degree it bestowed on him in 2000.

The decision lies with the State University of New York board of trustees.

A recording has also emerged of Weinstein appearing to admit innapropriate touching of model Ambra Battilana Gutierrez in 2015.

In awarding the honorary SUNY doctorate of humane letters, the university noted that Weinstein and another student started a concert promotion company in 1972 called Harvey and Corky Productions, which became a fixture on Buffalo's music scene.

Multiple women have accused Weinstein of wrongdoing. He denies non-consensual activity.

Meanwhile, Britain's film academy says it has suspended producer Weinstein over the multiple accusations.

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts said Wednesday that Weinstein was informed "that his membership has been suspended, effective immediately."

The organization says Weinstein had supported its charitable work, but called his alleged behavior "completely unacceptable and incompatible with BAFTA's values."

The British academy has about 7,500 members who work in film, television and games. It offers training and support for people in the industry and organizes annual movie, TV and games awards.

The entertainment industry, which Weinstein ruled for so long, is quaking at the revelations from Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie and others.

"These are people who everyone knows and everyone respects," said Anne Thompson, the editor at large of IndieWire. "I thought he was done before."

Paltrow might have been early in her career when she met Weinstein in that hotel room, but she was hardly an unknown in Hollywood circles.

"Gwyneth Paltrow is a child of Hollywood," Thompson said. "She's Steven Spielberg's goddaughter. This is someone who all the powerful people in Hollywood know very well as a family friend."

The revelations might be the death knell for the era of Harvey Weinstein.

After last week's initial report from the Times, which spotlighted accounts from Ashley Judd and sexual harassment settlements given to people like Rose McGowan, condemnations trickled in from Hollywood and Washington D.C. But as the days went by and accusations both continued and escalated, it soon turned into a flood.

Now President Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence, Bob Iger, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Judd Apatow, Judi Dench, Glenn Close and more and have all come out with statements against him and in support of the women who are speaking out.

Even Weinstein's wife of 10 years, Marchesa designer Georgina Chapman, said Tuesday (yesterday NZT) that she plans to divorce him.

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