Academy President under investigation for sexual harassment

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Los Angeles, March 17 (IANS) John Bailey, the president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, is under investigation for allegations of sexual harassment.

According to sources familiar with the situation, the Academy received three harassment claims on Wednesday and immediately opened a probe, reports variety.com.

Bailey was elected president of the institution in August.

If he is forced to step down, he would be temporarily replaced by Lois Burwell, a veteran make-up artist who is the Academy’s vice president, until the next election in July.

Bailey’s tenure has been marked by a historic shift in the Academy’s approach to misconduct by its members.

In October, the Academy voted to expel producer Harvey Weinstein less than 10 days after the New York Times first reported on his history of sexual harassment.

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The Academy also replaced actor Casey Affleck, who settled two sexual harassment lawsuits in 2010, as the presenter of the Best Actress award at this year’s Oscars.

In December, the Academy established a code of conduct which provides that members may be disciplined or expelled for abuse, harassment or discrimination. The Academy also set up a claims process which set forth how such allegations would be adjudicated.

Bailey is a veteran cinematographer who shot such films as “The Big Chill” and “Groundhog Day”.

–IANS

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