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Queen Elizabeth II further chips away at Harvey Weinstein’s film legacy

Harvey Weinstein
Harvey Weinstein
Image Credit: AP

The hits keep on coming for disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, with Queen Elizabeth II dealing the latest blow by withdrawing his title as an honorary commander of the British Empire.

The British monarch on Friday stripped Weinstein of a prestigious honour he was given in 2004 for services in the British film industry. Weinstein will no longer hold the hefty title of “Honorary Commander of the Civil Division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire,” or CBE for short. The title is one notch below knighthood and damehood.

“The Queen has directed that the appointment of Harvey Weinstein … dated 29 January 2004, shall be cancelled and annulled and that his name shall be erased from the Register of the said Order,” read a notice posted in the Gazette of London on Friday.

The Gazette is the official journal of record that reports on British honours and awards.

British actors who also hold the CBE title include Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Hardy, Kate Winslet, Anthony Hopkins, Helena Bonham Carter, Michael Caine and Maggie Smith. Several American citizens including former US presidents have also been awarded honorary titles.

Though rare, titles can be withdrawn if a recipient brings the honours system “into disrepute.” A Forfeiture Committee reviews the allegations, and the decision is subject to approval by the sovereign, according to guidance from the UK government.

A decision to forfeit can be based on events that predate the award or conduct that occurs after the award is made. A person given the honour is expected “to be, and to remain, good citizens and role models,” but the title can be forfeited for a variety of reasons. For example, if the recipient “has been found guilty by the courts of a criminal offence and sentenced to a term of imprisonment of more than three months.”

In Weinstein’s case, the 68-year-old producer was sentenced this year to 23 years in prison after being convicted of committing a criminal sexual act and third-degree rape following multiple accusations of sexual misconduct. France has already moved to revoke Weinstein’s 2012 Legion of Honour award, the highest French order of merit given for military or civil acts.

The bombshell 2017 revelations about Weinstein’s sexual misconduct and abuse catalysed the revolutionary #MeToo and Time’s Up movements in Hollywood and beyond.


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