So, it looks like the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is finally trying to rid itself of the sexual predators that have been darkening its prestigious hallways for years, decades and generations. On Tuesday, the academy made its decision to expel director Roman Polanski and the purveyor of pills, poundcake propaganda, and predatory behavior, Bill Cosby.
According to Deadline, academy board members voted during a Tuesday night meeting “in accordance with the organization’s Standards of Conduct,” according to a statement released Thursday announcing the news.
“The Board continues to encourage ethical standards that require members to uphold the Academy’s values of respect for human dignity,” the statement read.
So, let’s just be real about one thing. This is some of the most Johnny come lately news in tardy to the predator party history.
Like, OK—I’ll give you Cosby. Sure he’s got enough rape and sexual assault convictions throughout his career to fill the stadium at an R Kelly concert. But he wasn’t convicted of anything for decades and then when he finally was, he was later un-convicted. One can understand the academy can’t just be expelling folks all willy-nilly despite said folks putting their willy where it wasn’t wanted if it wasn’t legally proven.
But Polanski, my guy?
As Deadline noted: “Polanski pleaded guilty in the late 1970s to five charges stemming from having sex with then-minor Samantha Gailey. He spent 42 days behind bars in 1978 but fled to France and has lived in exile ever since.”
So, it took 40 some odd years for the academy to say, “You know, maybe it’s time to give Polanski the boot.”
Maybe if Polanski or Cosby slapped their victims across the face on the academy’s Oscars stage like Will Smith did Chris Rock there would have been swifter action. (Not that the actions are anywhere near comparable. I’m just saying Will got in one little fight and the academy got scared. It should have that same energy for victims of powerful predators as well.)
To be fair, the academy recently updated its code of conduct. So now, if a member’s misconduct is deemed serious enough, it is referred to the board of governors, which is the only body that “can make the final determination on whether to suspend or expel a member.” Who knew the movie academy was so serious it had a government-style chain of command?
Also, according to the code, an expelled member member “shall be entitled to appeal the decision, within 10 business days, in writing to the Boar and c/o the Academy’s President or Secretary.”
Deadline reported that last October, there was a special emergency meeting during which a decision was made to expel Harvey Weinstein.
So yeah, they’re cleaning house. One can only wonder who’s next.