The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has expelled Bill Cosby and Roman Polanski from its membership, the organization said Thursday in an e-mail that we received.
The Academy’s board of governors, following its new procedure for enforcing a Standards of Conduct that it adopted in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, voted to expel the comedian and the director at its most recent meeting on May 1.
“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 the statement announcing their expulsion.
A five-time Oscar nominee, Polanski will keep the Oscar he was awarded in 2003 for directing The Pianist, an award he couldn’t accept in person because he fled the United States in 1978, after pleading guilty to unlawful sexual intercourse with a 13-year-old girl.
Cosby was found guilty of aggravated indecent assault against Andrea Constand in 2004 by a Pennsylvania jury last Thursday after 14 hours of deliberation. In Cosby’s first trial last year, a different jury deadlocked and the matter was ruled a mistrial.
Best known for his television work in I Spy and The Cosby Show, Cosby never received any Motion Picture Academy honors, although he was active on the big screen in the ’70s, starring in films such as Uptown Saturday Night and Mother, Juggs and Speed. He also starred in one of the biggest bombs of the ’90s; Leonard Part 6.
The Television Academy has also removed Cosby’s name from its list of Hall of Fame honorees on its website, and a statue of Cosby that once was installed in the Academy’s Hall of Fame Plaza, which had been removed during renovations, will not be returned to the site.
Other institutions, like Yale University and Cosby’s alma mater Temple University, have also rescinded honorary degrees that they had given Cosby.
The Academy adopted a code of conduct for its members in December 2017, following its expulsion of disgraced mogul Weinstein in October, and it then adopted new procedures to handle allegations of workplace misconduct in January.
The first test of the new procedure came when a complaint was lodged against current Academy president John Bailey, but the board dismissed those charges in March, and Bailey remains president of the Academy.