The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said on Thursday that it has expelled actor Bill Cosby and film director Roman Polanski from its membership in light of the sexual assault cases against both men.
The Academy’s board of governors met on Tuesday night and voted to strip both men of membership “in accordance with the organization’s Standards of Conduct,” said a statement from the body which hands out the Oscars.“The Board continues to encourage ethical standards that require members to uphold the Academy’s values of respect for human dignity,” it added.
Cosby, once the darling of American television, has been accused of sexual assault by dozens of women.
A 12-member Pennsylvania jury found the 80-year-old comedian guilty on three counts of sexual assault on April 26 for drugging and molesting Andrea Constand at his Philadelphia mansion in January 2004. He faces up to 30 years in prison at his sentencing later this year.
Polanski, who lives in France, for his part is wanted in the United States for the statutory rape of a 13-year-old girl in 1977.
The veteran 84-year-old director of “Rosemary’s Baby” for years has been seeking to negotiate a deal in the case with US authorities. Polanski’s victim Samantha Geimer, who has sought to end the 41-year-old case against the fugitive director, on Thursday dismissed the Academy’s decision to expel him as “an ugly and cruel action which serves only appearance.” “It does nothing to change the sexist culture in Hollywood today and simply proves that they will eat their own to survive,” she said in a statement.