The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences today approved the next phase in its Standards of Conduct initiative. In an email to the membership, Academy CEO Dawn Hudson forwarded instructions on how individuals may report claims of workplace misconduct in violation of AMPAS standards. “The Academy’s goal is not to be an investigative body, but rather ensure that when a grievance is made, it will go through a fair and methodical process,” she wrote. “The process will determine whether a claim will be brought to the Board for possible action regarding membership status.”
In October, the Academy’s board took the rare step of expelling Harvey Weinstein after numerous sexual assault claims were lodged against him in reports in the New York Times and the New Yorker magazine. This new Academy initiative was launched shortly afterwards , with Hudson detailing the process in weighing their options in order to create the new document for members. In the document the Academy gives members direct instructions on how to file a claim of misconduct and lists requirements for evidence that must be presented including (1) that the violation was witnessed by others;
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(2) reported at the time; (3) memorialized in writing at the time; (4) part of an established pattern by the member; (5) or if following the violation the claimant experienced verifiable changes in their mental, physical or emotional well being. The mission is clearly stated near the top of the Academy’s new code: “The Academy asks that members embrace their responsibility to affirm these principles and act when these principles are violated. 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. The Academy is categorically opposed to any form of abuse, harassment or discrimination on the basis of gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, disability, age, religion, or nationality. The Board of Governors believes that these standards are essential to the Academy’s mission and reflective of our values. If any member is found by the Board of Governors to have violated these standards or to have compromised the integrity of the Academy by their actions, the Board of Governors may take any disciplinary action permitted by the Academy’s Bylaws, including suspension or expulsion.”
Whether this opens the floodgates for members to turn in other members remains to be seen. Some AMPAS members have openly questioned whether, since expelling Weinstein , the same thing could happen to others like Roman Polanski or Bill Cosby. These things can be a slippery slope but today the Academy took the initiative to give it further definition and clarity.
Here is Hudson’s letter to members followed by the Standards Of Conduct, and Process For Submitting Claims Of Misconduct.
This afternoon, the Board of Governors approved the next phase in our Standards of Conduct initiative. This document outlines how individuals may report claims of workplace misconduct by Academy members in violation of our standards. You can review the document. The Academy’s goal is not to be an investigative body, but rather ensure that when a grievance is made, it will go through a fair and methodical process. This process will determine whether a claim will be brought to the Board for possible action regarding membership status.
Since the depth of this issue came to light, our Board members and staff, led by Governor and Academy Officer David Rubin, have spent countless hours speaking with experts, gathering information, and weighing options to get us where we are today. This is a difficult time and a challenging process that will not be solved overnight. Our work continues and will require us to be nimble and refine our procedures as times demand. This is only a small step towards the larger goal of encouraging workplace environments that support creativity, equality, and respect, and align with the Academy’s mission.
If you have questions, please reach out to our Membership Department at firstname.lastname@example.org or 310.247.3001.
STANDARDS OF CONDUCT
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