LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Television’s Bill Cosby and Oscar-winning director Roman Polanski were expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Academy Awards presenters said in a statement on Thursday, the latest action by the group as Hollywood grapples with allegations of misconduct in the industry.
Bill Cosby reacts while being notified a verdict is in at the Montgomery County Courthouse in his sexual assault retrial, in Norristown, Pennsylvania, U.S., April 26, 2018. Mark Makela/Pool via Reuters
Cosby and Polanski are the first known members expelled for violating a code of conduct that the Academy adopted in December following accusations of sexual harassment or assault within the entertainment industry.
Cosby, 80, who was known as “America’s Dad” for his fatherly role on the popular 1980s TV comedy “The Cosby Show,” was convicted last week of drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand in 2004. He faces up to 30 years in prison.
Polanski, 84, who won the best director Oscar in 2003 for World War Two drama “The Pianist,” in 1977 admitted to having unlawful sex with a 13-year-old girl in Los Angeles.
The French-Polish director lives in France and fled the United States following his guilty plea for fear his deal with prosecutors would be overruled and he would get a lengthy prison term. Polanski’s case is still ongoing.
Film director Roman Polanski arrives at the Madeleine Church to attend a ceremony during a ‘popular tribute’ to late French singer and actor Johnny Hallyday in Paris, France, December 9, 2017. REUTERS/Charles Platiau
Representatives of Cosby and Polanski did not immediately respond to requests seeking comment.
Four academy members are now known to have been expelled by the academy. Once powerful producer Harvey Weinstein was expelled in October after several women accused him of decades-long sexual misconduct, sparking the #MeToo social movement.
Weinstein, 66, has denied having non-consensual sex with anyone.
Actor Carmine Caridi was expelled in 2004 for distributing copies of films that are sent to academy members.
Reporting by Eric Kelsey; Editing by Lisa Shumaker