Comedian Bill Cosby and director Roman Polanski have been expelled from the Film Academy, the organization confirmed on May 3.
The move reflects the Academy's new procedure for enforcing Standards of Conduct, which were adopted in light of the accusations against film mogul Harvey Weinstein. The board of governors voted to expel Cosby and Polanski at its meeting on May 1.
Two Sexual Offenders Expelled From Film Academy
"The Board continues to encourage ethical standards that require members to uphold the Academy's values of respect for human dignity," the Academy said in a statement, as reported by The Hollywood Reporter.
Polanski has been nominated for five Oscars in his entire career, winning the Best Director trophy in 2003 for The Pianist, which he couldn't accept in person as he fled the country after pleading guilty to raping a 13-year-old girl.
Polanski has been on the run for 40 years since fleeing the country, and his case has undergone a number of bizarre twists over the decades, as the LA County District Attorney's office has repeatedly failed to extradite him, and Polanski has also repeatedly failed to fix his case remotely.
Cosby, on the other hand, was recently found guilty of molesting Andrea Constand in 2004. The verdict, made on April 26, was the first major criminal conviction since the beginning of the #MeToo movement and a vindication for the dozens of women who accused the comedian of drugging and then sexually abusing them.
Oscars In The Age Of #MeToo
As part of the Academy's new code, which was adopted in January, the Membership and Administration Committee can request a response from accused parties, who are then given 10 days to provide it in written form. After which, the committee makes recommendations to the board on how best to discipline the accused.
Weinstein himself was expelled from the Academy in 2017 after The New York Times and The New Yorker published eye-opening reports about the executive's sexual misconduct over the years, ranging from assault to violent rape.
The #MeToo and #TimesUp movements are forcing Hollywood to enter a much-needed period of reckoning. Victims, survivors, and whistleblowers are continuously exposing the wrongdoing of bigwigs, executives, and all sorts of people who hold power, revealing a dark underbelly beneath the glamour of the film industry.
Cosby, Polanski, and Weinstein join a very short list of people booted out of film world's most prestigious organization. An actor named Carmine Caridi completes the list, whom the Academy blamed for piracy in 2004 after he sent VHS screeners of films to a friend, who allegedly distributed them online.