Cosby and Polanski Expelled From Film Academy

Posted May 3, 2018 10:57 p.m. EDT
Updated May 3, 2018 11:00 p.m. EDT

The disgraced comedian Bill Cosby and the director Roman Polanski have been expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences after a vote by its board of governors Tuesday night, the organization announced Thursday.

The action comes after Cosby was found guilty last week of sexually assaulting a former Temple University employee, although many dozens of women have stepped forward, claiming he drugged and assaulted them too.

Polanski, the Polish-born filmmaker who won the Oscar for best director in 2003 for “The Pianist," has been a fugitive from the United States since 1978, after he fled the country while awaiting sentencing for statutory rape.

Last year, the academy adopted a code of conduct that reads, in part, “There is no place in the academy for people who abuse their status, power or influence in a manner that violates recognized standards of decency.”

In October the academy expelled movie producer Harvey Weinstein after increasing numbers of women stepped forward with sexual harassment and rape allegations. (Weinstein has denied the claims of assault.)

Because of the precedent set by Weinstein’s ouster, the academy’s action against Cosby was not a surprise. However, the decision to kick out Polanski will probably shock some in Hollywood, where he has enjoyed a measure of support.

Now that the academy has ejected Cosby, Weinstein and Polanski, questions are swirling about how it will treat Kevin Spacey and Woody Allen. Spacey, a two-time Oscar winner, is facing multiple claims of abuse. Allen, who has vigorously denied allegations made by one of his daughters, Dylan Farrow, that he molested her as a child, is reportedly not an academy member.