Bill Cosby and Roman Polanski expelled from the academy

The board of governors met this week and voted to oust the comedian and the director in accordance with the organization's "standards of conduct."
by Daniel Arkin /  / Updated 

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The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the organization that puts on the Oscars, has voted to expel Bill Cosby and Roman Polanski from its membership.

The academy said Thursday that its board of governors met this week and voted to oust the comedian and the director "in accordance with the organization's standards of conduct."

"The board continues to encourage ethical standards that require members to uphold the academy’s values of respect for human dignity," the group said in a statement.

Cosby, 80, who has been accused of sexual misconduct by more than 60 women, was convicted of sexual assault last week in Pennsylvania.

Polanski, 84, the Oscar-winning director of "The Pianist," fled the United States in 1978 after he was accused of raping a 13-year-old girl. He has been a fugitive from justice since then.

Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein, who has been accused of sexual harassment and assault by scores of women, was also expelled from the academy in October amid the rise of the #MeToo movement.

The code of conduct, adopted by the academy in December, states that the organization is no place for "people who abuse their status, power or influence in a manner that violates standards of decency."

Cosby, a mainstay of American television for the second half of the 20th century, was never honored by the academy, but he co-starred in several feature-length comedies in the 1970s.

The legendary comedian was found guilty last week of drugging and sexually assaulting Temple University employee Andrea Constand at his suburban Philadelphia home in 2004.

Polanski, a five-time Oscar nominee, won the best-directing prize in 2003 for "The Pianist," a drama about the Holocaust — an award he could not accept in person.

The acclaimed "Chinatown" and "Rosemary's Baby" director pleaded guilty to unlawful sex with a minor to whom he had given Champagne and Quaaludes during a 1977 photo shoot at Jack Nicholson's home.

He had expected to be sentenced to time served and probation, but fled to France after learning that the judge in his case planned to sentence him to jail time instead.

Polanski, who has continued to direct films overseas, will attempt to appeal the academy's decision, his attorney told Vanity Fair.

"We want due process," Harland Braun told the magazine. "That's not asking too much of the academy, is it?"

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