Sunday 17 November 2019

Oscars organisers investigating president over ‘sexual harassment’

Variety reported the academy received three claims of sexual harassment against the president.

Meet The Oscars – Los Angeles
Meet The Oscars – Los Angeles

By Sam Blewett, Los Angeles Correspondent, and Joe Nerssessian, Press Association

The Oscars organisers are investigating its president over reports of sexual harassment.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said on Friday it was carrying out a “full review” after receiving claims about cinematographer John Bailey, 75.

Hollywood industry magazine Variety reported the academy on Wednesday received three claims of sexual harassment against the president, whose film credits include Groundhog Day.

Since Bailey was elected to the four-year position in August, he has overseen the expulsion of disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein following multiple allegations of sexual harassment and assault.

Bailey then wrote to members saying the academy could not be an “inquisitorial court”, but said it could be part of a “larger initiative to define standards of behaviour and to support the vulnerable women and men who may be at personal and career risk because of violations of ethical standards by their peers”.

Bailey reportedly celebrated the Me Too movement, telling the Oscar nominees luncheon in February he was “gratified” that “the fossilised bedrock of many of Hollywood’s worst abuses are being jack-hammered into oblivion”.

He also helped to establish a new code of conduct for the industry as the reckoning saw powerful Hollywood figures fall, including Kevin Spacey and Louis C.K.

On Friday the academy said in a statement: “The academy treats any complaints confidentially to protect all parties.

“The membership committee reviews all complaints brought against academy members according to our standards of conduct process, and after completing reviews, reports to the board of governors.

“We will not comment further on such matters until the full review is completed.”

The academy is not the only awards body to launch an investigation into a senior figure.

The Golden Globe-organisers, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, in February reviewed groping allegations by Mummy actor Brendan Fraser against its former president Philip Berk.

Berk denied the allegation, while Bailey could not immediately be contacted.

Weinstein, 65, apologised for his past behaviour but denied all allegations of non-consensual sex.

PA Media

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