After deliberation from the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, actor Bill Cosby and director Roman Polanski have officially been expelled from their membership ranks.
The decision was made on May 1, 2018, just days after Cosby was convicted of three counts of aggravated indecent assault brought against him by Andrea Constand. A few of the 60 women accusing Cosby of sexual assault also testified against Cosby at what is being referred to as a very emotional hearing.
Polanski was awaiting sentencing back in 1978 after being put to trial for statutory rape, but fled the country before any specific rulings could be made. Since then, the Los Angeles County District has tried and been unsuccessful to extradite him while Polanski has been unsuccessful in attempting to resolve the case from Europe.
Harland Braun, Polanski’s attorney, told Variety that the infamous director was not given a chance to defend himself in the case, and that is against provisions of the Academy’s new code of conduct.
The Academy’s code, according to Variety, states the following:
“The Membership and Administration Committee may receive complaints and ask for a response from the accused member. The member then has 10 days to provide a written response, after which the committee may make a recommendation on discipline to the full board. The member is also provided 10 days to appeal the board’s decision. The code also includes a provision whereby the board retains the ability to impose discipline without following the new process.”
Though Braun argues that the supposedly blind-sighted decision to expel Polanski is “… a very ignorant thing to do,” because Polanski “…accepted responsibility…” and “apologized to the woman…”, the Academy released this official statement about the decision:
“The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Board of Governors met on Tuesday night (May 1) and has voted to expel actor Bill Cosby and director Roman Polanski from its membership in accordance with the organization’s Standards of Conduct. The Board continues to encourage ethical standards that require members to uphold the Academy’s values of respect for human dignity.”
After the expulsion of Harvey Weinstein from the Academy due to multiple exposés of decades of sexual harassment allegations against him, it is no surprise that the Academy is moving forward to further remove any person with sexually related scandals and convictions in their lives.