Movie Academy Expels Bill Cosby And Roman Polanski

Bill Cosby Roman Polanski

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said today that its board of governors has voted to expel Bill Cosby and director Roman Polanski from its membership.

The vote came during a meeting Tuesday night and was “in accordance with the organization’s Standards of Conduct,” the Academy said in announcing the news Thursday.

“The Board continues to encourage ethical standards that require members to uphold the Academy’s values of respect for human dignity,” it said in a statement.

The act of kicking a member out of the Academy is rare, but the AMPAS board in October did vote to expel Harvey Weinstein after a special emergency meeting in October, following bombshell reports the New York Times and New Yorker about decades of alleged sexual harassment and abuse.

Cosby was found guilty April 26 in Pennsylvania on three counts of aggravated indecent assault against former Temple University Andrea Constand in 2004. He awaits sentencing and faces up to 30 years in prison in the only criminal case brought against the famed actor-comedian. Dozens and dozens of women have come forward to accuse Cosby of similar acts over the decades.

Polanski 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.

According to the Academy’s recently updated code of conduct, if miscondut is deemed serious enough, it is refered to the board of governors, the only body that “can make the final determination on whether to suspend or expel a member.”

The code also says the member and claimant will be informed in writing of any final decision, and the member “shall be entitled to appeal the decision, within 10 business days, in writing to the Boar and c/o the Academy’s President or Secretary.”

It’s unclear whether either Cosby or Polanski will appeal

Polanski has been nominated for five Oscars and won as Best Director in 2002 for The Pianist. Cosby has never been nominated for an Oscar.

Cosby’s name and bust were recently removed from the TV Academy’s Hall of Fame.

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