Bill Cosby and Roman Polanski kicked out of the Academy

Tara McCamley reports on the latest expulsions from the organisation that runs Hollywood’s Oscars

 

The Academy has announced that its board of directors have voted to expel actor Bill Cosby and director Roman Polanski from their organisation.

The move was prompted after Cosby was found guilty on three counts of sexual assault last month. It also follows the expulsion of Harvey Weinstein last year over similar charges of sexual assault and rape, charges which he has always denied.

The organisation updated and changed its code of conduct for members in December and the new code states the Academy has no place for “people who abuse their status, power or influence in a manner that violates standards of decency”.

In a statement, the Academy’s board said it “has voted to expel actor Bill Cosby and director Roman Polanski from its membership in accordance with the organisation’s Standards of Conduct”.

The statement continued: “The Board continues to encourage ethical standards that require members to uphold the Academy’s values of respect for human dignity.”

In March the president of the Academy, John Bailey, hinted that more big names could be expelled from the organisation due to accusations of sexual misconduct and similarly to the swift manner that Weistien was thrown out and Cosby’s expulsion happening a week after his conviction, the outlier here is the expulsion of Polanski.

“the Academy has no place for people who abuse their status, power or influence in a manner that violates standards of decency”

Polanski plead guilty in 1978 to statutory rape of a minor and fled from the US, since then there have been calls for his expulsion from Hollywood and the Academy.

When Weinstein was kicked out there was public outcry from the #MeToo movement demanding that Polanski also be expelled, to many the action seems long overdue.

Weinstein, Cosby and Polanski are three of only four people who have even been expelled from the Academy. The first was actor Carmine Caridi in 2004 for sharing private screeners that ended up online.

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