Film director Roman Polanski is suing the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, demanding reinstatement to the storied organization after he was expelled last May.
The suit, filed in the state of California, says AMPAS did not follow proper protocol in dismissing him nearly a year ago. The Academy did so “in accordance with the organization’s Standards of Conduct,” they said at the time, adding their leadership expected members to “uphold the Academy’s values of respect for human dignity.”
Polanski’s suit says the Academy’s expulsion decision “is not supported by findings, and the Academy’s findings are not supported by evidence.” The eight-time Oscar winner wants the decision reversed and the Academy to pay costs incurred by the suit.
An Academy spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Suspension or expulsion from the group, which picks the annual Academy Award winners, requires two-thirds approval of the 54-member board of governors.
Polanski’s attorney Harland Braun indicated at the time of his dismissal that Polanski would pursue legal action. In a heated letter to Academy president John Bailey last year, Braun said Polanski had a right to go to court “and require your organization to follow its own procedures, as well as California law.”
Polanski was dismissed in step with comedian Bill Cosby, at a time when the #MeToo movement encouraged hundred of sexual assault and harassment accusers to come forward with accounts of abuse at the hands of powerful Hollywood men. Months before Polanski and Cosby were dismissed, the Academy moved swiftly to eject Harvey Weinstein from its ranks.
More to come.
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