LOS ANGELES (REUTERS) – The Academy Awards, the glitziest night time in present business, takes place on Sunday (March four), however the largest drama could also be not on the Dolby Theatre stage however behind-the-scenes strikes to deal with the sexual misconduct scandal that has rocked the business.
After moving swiftly to expel Oscar-winning movie producer Harvey Weinstein final October after a number of girls accused him of sexual misconduct, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has nonetheless to take motion in opposition to different folks in its ranks who have been accused of impropriety.
They embody actor Kevin Spacey, director Roman Polanski and comic Bill Cosby.
Weinstein, who has denied having non-consensual intercourse with anybody, was solely the second individual within the academy’s 90-year historical past to be thrown out.
His expulsion made the publicity-averse Academy, whose eight,000 members vote on the Oscars, the ethical guardian within the #MeToo scandal that has led to dozens of Hollywood figures stepping down or being dropped from artistic initiatives.
“The academy has always wanted to be the symbol of Hollywood, the glamour and excitement and creativity. But now this awful stuff is being told about Hollywood and it’s like, you’re going to be the symbol of the downside too,” mentioned Tim Gray, awards editor of Hollywood commerce publication Variety.
“This is new territory for them. I think they haven’t quite figured it out,” mentioned Gray.
CHALLENGING, FAIR, METHODICAL
The job of policing accusations in opposition to filmmakers, brokers and actors among the many academy’s members has proved sluggish and tough.
The academy issued its first-ever code of conduct in December and arrange a activity power to deal with allegations on a variety of potential violations.
Chief government Dawn Hudson informed members in a January e-mail that it was “a challenging process that will not be solved overnight.”
Hudson’s e-mail mentioned the Academy’s purpose was “not to be an investigative body but rather ensure that when a grievance is made, it will go through a fair and methodical process.”
The academy is creating a web based type for submitting claims of misconduct that transcend sexual behaviour to incorporate abuses in issues of gender, sexual orientation, race, age, and faith.
According to the rules, claimants should provide proof of alleged behaviour and an accused individual has 10 days to reply earlier than the academy’s membership committee critiques the matter. Only the board of governors can decide whether or not to droop or expel a member.
“Traditionally, it’s up to the employer to monitor bad behaviour – in this case the studios, TV networks and the agencies,” mentioned Gray. “It’s a slippery slope to get into that. Where do you draw the line?”
The membership checklist of the invitation-only academy has by no means been printed however the academy mentioned that Spacey, Polanski and Cosby are nonetheless members.
Double Oscar-winner Spacey has been accused of sexual misconduct by greater than 30 males. He apologised to the primary accuser and has retreated from public life.
Polanski received an Oscar in 2003 regardless of being wished within the United States to serve time for his 1977 admission of the rape of a minor. Cosby faces retrial in Pennsylvania in April on a cost of sexual assault and has been accused of sexual misconduct by greater than 60 different girls. He denies the allegations.
Director and actor Woody Allen, who received Oscars for Annie Hall and Midnight In Paris, has repeatedly denied a resurfaced 1992 accusation that he molested his stepdaughter when she was a baby.. Allen has by no means been a member of the academy, it mentioned.
Dave Karger, particular correspondent for leisure web site IMDB.com, says he does not count on any fast motion.
“My sense with the academy is that they act judiciously, carefully and deliberately. I can see them making moves to expel certain members, but I see that happening as a multistep process,” Karger mentioned.