John Bailey, president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, is under investigation for allegations of sexual harassment.
According to the trade publication Variety, which first reported the accusations, the Academy received three harassment claims Wednesday and immediately opened a probe.
In a statement released Friday, the Academy declined comment, citing confidentiality issues.
“The Academy treats any complaints confidentially to protect all parties,” the statement reads. “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.”
Bailey, 75, who was elected to a four-year-term as president in August to replace Cheryl Boone Isaacs, is a cinematographer and occasional director. He has nearly 90 films to his credit including “The Big Chill,” “Groundhog Day,” “Ordinary People” and “As Good As It Gets.”
No details about the nature of the allegations have been released.
The investigation comes in the midst of the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements against sexual harassment and inequality. Disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein was thrown out of the Academy last year in light of the multiple sexual harassment and assault allegations against him.
If forced to step down, Bailey would be temporarily replaced by Lois Burwell, a veteran makeup artist who is the Academy’s vice president, until the next election in July.
In December, the Academy established a code of conduct, which provides that members may be disciplined or expelled for abuse, harassment or discrimination. The organization also set up a claims process, which set forth how such allegations would be adjudicated.
—City News Service
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