Join the campaign to strip Harvey Weinstein of his CBE
You can help by:
1) Signing and sharing the Change.org petition. Please use the hashtag #WeinsteinHasNoHonour
My name is Polly Creed, I’m a writer, theatre-maker and activist and I started a campaign to call on the honours committee to strip Harvey Weinstein of his CBE. I started the campaign in Autumn 2017, when allegations against Weinstein first came to light. Like all of us, my newsfeed and social media lit up with #Metoo often accompanied by harrowing stories. I felt moved by this, reflecting on my own experiences and the injustice I had experienced as a young woman.
I was shocked to find that Weinstein still held a CBE, despite many institutions such as the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Science expelling him from their ranks. An honorary CBE is one of the highest honours that can be bestowed upon someone who is not a citizen of the UK. It seemed obvious that Harvey Weinstein, who had used his power and money to assault and silence so many women, was not deserving of any honour.So I started up the campaign because I was convinced that, with so much evidence against Weinstein including a recording and a confession, the Honours Committee would move fast to forfeit the CBE.
At the time we did have a response. The committee said it ‘was actively considering’ the decision.However nothing happened for three years.
In February 2020, Harvey Weinstein was convicted to 23 years imprisonment for a first degree sexual act and third degree rape. I thought now the committee have to act. Figures such as Boris Johnson, Dawn Butler and Layla Moran came out in support of Harvey Weinstein being stripped of his CBE. However, we’re almost five months and the committee is yet to forfeit Weinstein’s CBE. The latest statement from Downing Street is that we shouldn't expect a decision this month.
In the UK, 1 in 5 women will experience sexual assault during her lifetime. Globally this rises to 1 in 3. There are roughly 11 penetrative rapes every hour in the UK. How are we supposed to tackle this problem if we still celebrate figures like Weinstein in our public institutions?
Weinstein may have received a prison sentence in America. However, we need to show in the Uk that we also condemn sexual violence. We need to think about who we celebrate and honour as a society, and whether they represent the values and ideals by which we want to live. The narratives we create and the honours we bestow say a lot about us as a society. At the moment, what we are saying is that we continue to honour figures like Weinstein: that they are untouchable. This is wrong. Delayed justice only serves to preserve the wealth and status of the powerful, it does not serve those who are oppressed and living day in and day out with the experiences of oppression.
I want the committee to forfeit his CBE and also make it much clearer and more transparent what the process is for forfeiture and what their criteria is for this.