Chi has written to the Prime Minister along with three other Shadow Ministers and Jess Phillips, the Chair of the Women’s PLP, calling for disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein to be stripped of his honorary CBE. You can find a press release about the letter below, along with a scan and the full text.
Labour calls for Harvey Weinstein to be stripped of CBE
Senior Labour politicians have today called for Theresa May to strip disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein of his honorary CBE.
An open letter signed by Shadow Industrial Strategy Minister Chi Onwurah MP, Shadow Minister for Labour Jack Dromey MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Women and Equalities Dawn Butler MP, Shadow Arts and Heritage Minister Kevin Brennan MP and the Chair of the Women’s Parliamentary Labour Party, Jess Phillips MP, highlights allegations of sexual harassment and assault made against Weinstein last week.
The letter states that Mr. Weinstein’s actions were “unacceptable and intolerable. They were unacceptable in the 1960s, they are unacceptable now and they may well be criminal under US and UK law.”
It goes on to argue that Mr. Weinstein has “fallen far short of the standards we expect from recipients of a CBE. His continued membership runs the risk of bringing the honours system into disrepute and, moreover, sending the deeply troubling signal that our Government does not take allegations of sexual harassment seriously.”
Ms. Onwurah commented:
“Everyone has the absolute right to work in whatever role their talents take them without being subject to sexual harassment – that is as true for the entertainment industry as any sector in the British economy . These allegations of sexual harassment and assault need to be taken seriously and it is unacceptable that someone accused of these appalling and potentially criminal acts should retain the honour of a CBE.
“The Government should act swiftly to start the process of stripping Weinstein’s CBE from him, or it will send a profoundly worrying message about the value it places on women’s voices, our safety, our working environment and as a consequence the UK economy. Britain’s economic prosperity depends on everyone being able to contribute fully.”
Scan of the letter
Text of the letter
You must be aware of the recent allegations against Harvey Weinstein CBE. Last week The New York Times reported eight allegations of sexual harassment brought to trial against Mr. Weinstein which were settled out of court.
The allegations included:
- a $100,000 settlement from Weinstein to Rose McGowan;
- a case with an unnamed assistant, whom he reportedly tried to convince to give him a massage while he stood naked in front of her at a hotel;
- and an incident in which he is accused of cornering Lauren Sivan in the hallway of a Manhattan restaurant and masturbated in front of her after being verbally rejected by the young woman.
Weinstein, in response to these accusations, sent a letter to the New York Times, stating: “I came of age in the 60s and 70s, when all the rules about behaviour and workplaces were different. That was the culture then.”
These actions are unacceptable and intolerable. They were unacceptable in the 1960s, they are unacceptable now and they may well be criminal under US and UK law.
These revelations prove that Mr. Weinstein has fallen far short of the standards we expect from recipients of a CBE. His continued membership runs the risk of bringing the honours system into disrepute and, moreover, sending the deeply troubling signal that our Government does not take women’s voices or allegations of sexual harassment seriously.
We are therefore calling upon your Government to act urgently and strip Mr. Weinstein of his honorary CBE.