Reiterating its commitment to upholding what it called its “values of respect for human dignity,” the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. announced Thursday that it has expelled comedian Bill Cosby and director Roman Polanski from the group’s ranks.
Both were involved in sexual assaults. The academy referred in a statement to the organization’s Standards of Conduct” and previously there were discussions on board about adoption of new standards of ethical conduct. Not all members agreed. Some argued that the group should not police its members’ behavior. Producer and former studio executive Bill Mechanic resigned from the board last month and said to media „The academy has no right to be in people’s lives.”
Bill Cosby and Roman Polanski
Cosby was convicted of drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand, a former basketball player. More than 50 other women also have accused him of similar crimes, including drugging and sexually assaulting them. His name has since been removed from the Television Academy website and he has lost an honorary degree from Yale. Polanski, who won an Oscar for best director in 2003, has been a fugitive since fleeing to France in 1978 while awaiting sentencing for sexually assaulting a 13-year-old. Only two persons, the actor Carmine Caridi, best known for his role in The Godfather, and Harvey Weinstein were previosly expelled by the academy, the second for “sexually predatory behavior and workplace harassment.”