Harvey Weinstein: jailed film producer deprived of honorary CBE

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Weinstein (center) with his brother Bob and Sir Philip Thomas, former British consul general in New York, in 2004


Disgraced film producer Harvey Weinstein has been stripped of his honorary CBE following his rape and sexual assault conviction.

An official announcement in The Gazette confirms that the Queen has canceled her appointment as Commander of the Order of the British Empire.

The decision was made at a recent meeting of the Honors Confiscation Committee, which is independent from the government.

Weinstein received the CBE in 2004.

In March, Weinstein was sentenced to 23 years in prison, following a New York Times investigation in October 2017 that published accusations by several women that the producer, now 68, had them. abused or harassed.

Weinstein’s withdrawal from the CBE for services to the film industry follows the 2017 cancellation of the scholarship he received from the British Film Institute (BFI) in 2002.

  • Harvey Weinstein jailed for 23 years in rape trial
  • Weinstein convicted of rape and sexual assault

The Honors Forfeiture Committee meets as needed to determine whether recipients are guilty of conduct “deemed to discredit the honors system”.

Among those he has robbed in the past is artist Rolf Harris, who lost his CBE in 2015 after being jailed for 12 indecent assaults the year before.

In 2012, Fred Goodwin, the former managing director of the Royal Bank of Scotland, saw his knight dismissed for his role in the bank’s collapse.

Weinstein faces further criminal charges for rape and sexual assault in Los Angeles, although the extradition process was postponed until December last month due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Why did the decision take so long?

Analysis by Lizo Mzimba, Entertainment Correspondent

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Harvey Weinstein pictured outside a Manhattan courthouse in February


It’s no surprise that Harvey Weinstein, once one of Hollywood’s most powerful figures, was ultimately deprived of an honorary award from the Queen.

His exposure as a prolific predator shocked the world and added global dynamics to the already existing MeToo movement.

However, as the first public allegations were made almost three years ago, many will be disappointed that its CBE’s removal has taken so long.

For obvious reasons, the operation of the Honors Confiscation Committee is secret and confidential.

But the criteria published publicly by the committee for the annulment of an honor include cases where an individual has been convicted of a criminal offense and sentenced to more than three months in prison.

This means that when criminal charges or a trial are probable or pending, the committee naturally hesitates to take action until this process is complete, however damning the evidence or public opinion may be.

While the committee was almost certainly reluctant to take action while a legal process was underway, it couldn’t ignore the revulsion many felt at Weinstein continuing to hold an honor at this time.

While many people and organizations have written to the Prime Minister asking for Weinstein’s CBE to be revoked, the removal of an honor is in fact a decision independent of the government and Downing Street.

It’s also worth noting that a high-profile case like Weinstein’s was always going to be on the radar of the forfeiture committee, with or without appeals from the public or MPs. And that the decision to strip the former film producer does not directly respond to these demands.

As soon as Weinstein’s accusations hit the headlines, the committee would have known that it would at some point consider whether or not there was clear and unambiguous evidence that he had discredited the honors system.

However, many will believe the committee should have been prepared to make a quick decision and send a quick signal once he was sentenced in February. And I will feel like even with a system slowed down by Covid, it still shouldn’t have taken more than six months to cancel a convicted sex offender’s CBE.

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