Los Angeles, May 4 (IANS) The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced on Thursday that its board of governors voted to expel Bill Cosby and director Roman Polanski from its membership for failing to meet the institution’s standards of conduct.
The Academy said it made this decision following its new procedure for enforcing a Standards of Conduct that it adopted in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, which shocked the entertainment industry last year, Xinhua reported.
The New York Times broke the bombshell story about Weinstein in early October, disclosing explosive allegations of the Hollywood mogul’s 30-year pattern of sexual harassment and workplace intimidation against numerous young female stars and employees.
Weinstein’s scandal fuelled a national-wide movement to denounce the sexual misconduct or harassment in working place, then many celebrities were accused for molestation.
As to the the case of Cosby and Polanski, the statement of the Academy said, the actor and director have been expelled as “the Board continues to encourage ethical standards that require members to uphold the Academy’s values of respect for human dignity.”
Cosby was found guilty last Thursday by a jury on three counts of aggravated indecent assault against Andrea Constand in 2004. He awaits sentencing and faces up to 30 years in prison.
Polanski, who has been nominated for five Oscars and won as Best Director in 2002 for The Pianist, pleaded guilty in the late 1970s to five charges stemming from having sex with then-minor Samantha Gailey. He spent 42 days behind bars in 1978 but fled to France and has lived in exile ever since.
Kicking a member out of the Academy is a rare move, but the AMPAS board voted to expel Weinstein after a special emergency meeting in last October.