In the wake of the sexual misconduct allegations lodged against Harvey Weinstein, the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts has decided not to accept a pledged $5 million endowment from the now-ousted executive of the Weinstein Company. Since last Thursday, more than 20 women — including Ashley Judd, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Angelina Jolie — have alleged Weinstein made inappropriate, unwanted sexual advances; several women claimed he sexually assaulted them.
The endowment was to fund scholarships for women directors at USC. Just last Thursday, Weinstein touted his gift to the school in a statement he gave to the New York Times. “One year ago, I began organizing a $5 million foundation to give scholarships to women directors at USC. While this might seem coincidental it has been in the works for a year,” he wrote in his statement, which addressed the newspaper’s report about the decades of alleged sexual harassment.
A spokesperson for USC confirmed to BuzzFeed News that the decision to nix Weinstein’s endowment was made on Tuesday (Oct. 10) — the same day The New Yorker published a story that included three women’s stories of being raped by Weinstein and the New York Times published a follow-up story detailing new allegations of harassment and coercion.
Through a representative, Weinstein “unequivocally denied” having nonconsensual sex to the New Yorker.
Weinstein’s representative did not immediately respond to BuzzFeed News’ request for a comment on the rejected donation to the university. But in the statement last week, Weinstein said he would name the endowment after his mother, adding, “I won’t disappoint her.”