Cosby, Polanski Booted From Academy Under Revised Conduct Rules

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(Bloomberg) -- Bill Cosby and Roman Polanski, both convicted of sex crimes, were expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which hands out the Oscars each year.

The expulsion of the actor and director came at a board of governors meeting on Tuesday night, the Academy said in a statement Thursday. Members voted on the matter under new standards of conduct that were created in the wake of the #MeToo movement spurred by allegations against producer Harvey Weinstein.

Polanksi won an Oscar for best director in 2003 for “The Pianist,” and was nominated for four other awards over the years. He fled the U.S. in 1978 after pleading guilty to unlawful sexual intercourse with a 13-year-old girl. Last month, Cosby was convicted on three counts of sexual assault. The 80-year-old comedian was a member of the Academy but was never nominated for an Oscar.

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

The ejections come as the Academy has been rocked by a series of sexual-misconduct claims against high-profile entertainment figures. In December, it set up a new process for dealing with claims of harassment after a wave of accusations of sexual assault and rape against Weinstein were revealed by a New York Times investigation. Weinstein was expelled and even the Academy’s own president, John Bailey, was recently investigated and cleared after claims of harassment.

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