Before he was a tabloid headliner for his numerous sexual harassment allegations, disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein was an Oscar winner for “Shakespeare in Love” (1998). At the time Weinstein was the head of Miramax, which distributed the film, so he was one of the five producers who accepted trophies when “Shakespeare in Love” won Best Picture. The other producers were David Parfitt, Donna Gigliotti, Edward Zwick and Marc Norman. Relive Weinstein’s acceptance speech in the Oscars flashback video above.
“This is a movie about life and art. And art and life combining is called magic,” Weinstein said at the podium after Gigliotti and Parfitt had given their speeches. “For me, this was a great experience, a passion for five years. And nobody inspires me more than my brother Bob, who is my partner and best friend every day. My loving wife, Eve. My two rotten kids, Lily and Emma. My beautiful nieces, Sarah and Nicole. And my mom, Miriam — the Miriam of Miramax — who makes Jewish mothers look good.”
“Shakespeare in Love” won a whopping seven Oscars that year: Best Picture, Best Actress for Gwyneth Paltrow, Best Supporting Actress for Judi Dench, Best Original Screenplay, Best Art Direction, Best Costume Design and Best Score. Weinstein would earn a second Oscar nomination four years later for producing “Gangs of New York” (2002), but he lost to “Chicago.”
Thank in part to Weinstein accepting a trophy for “Shakespeare in Love” on behalf of Miramax, the academy soon modified its rules so that only three producers could receive an Oscar for Best Picture. The academy added more clarity in 2014 to say that a qualified person must have a screen credit of “producer” or “produced by” and must have taken on a major amount of the producing functions.
Following the bombshell allegations made earlier this month by the New York Times and the New Yorker, Weinstein was fired from his current position at The Weinstein Company, which he founded in 2005 with his brother. Weinstein was then expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, with the Board of Governors issuing a statement declaring, “The era of willful ignorance and shameful complicity in sexually predatory behavior and workplace harassment in our industry is over.”
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