John Bailey, president of theÂ Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, is under investigation for allegations of sexual harassment, according to anÂ exclusive Variety report published Friday.Â A probe into the academy presidentâ€™s alleged misconduct was immediately opened after the academy received three claims of sexual harassment against Bailey.
In a painful twist of irony, Baileyâ€™s tenure has been marked by the #MeToo movement, which forever changed the way the academy approaches misconduct by its members, almost using membership as a tool to punish those accused of sexual assault and/or harassment.
Just 10 days after The New York Times published itsÂ bombshell reportÂ on film producer Harvey Weinsteinâ€™s history of sexual assault and harassment, the academy voted to expel him from the organization.Â In spite of this, however, many prominent actors themselves accused of sexual harassment or assault â€” such as Casey Affleck, Bill Cosby, and Roman Polanski â€” remain members of the academy.
In January, the academy proposed aÂ new standards of conductÂ as part of the organizationâ€™s attempt to respond to the sexual harassment and assault scandals.
â€śThe Academyâ€™s goal is not to be an investigative body, but rather ensure that when a grievance is made, it will go through a fair and methodical process,â€ť CEO Dawn HudsonÂ said in an email sent to members.
The standards outlined how the academy will approach sexual misconduct allegations going forward. According to a document sent to members, individuals will be able to report misconduct through an online form the academy plans to launch in the summer of 2018, or by phone to the academyâ€™s membership department. The allegations must be substantiated by evidence, and will be subject to a review by the academyâ€™s membership committee. If the allegations are deemed serious enough, the committee may refer the issue to the board of governors, which can then vote to suspend or expel a member.
But Baileyâ€™s alleged actions put the academy in the precarious position of choosing how to handle potential misconduct at the organizationâ€™s highest level. Should the academy choose to let Bailey go,Â Lois Burwell, a veteran makeup artist, will fill the role until the next election in July.
This article was originally published at ThinkProgress on March 16, 2018. Reprinted with permission.Â
About the Author:Â Rebekah Entralgo is a reporter at ThinkProgress. Previously she was a news assistant on the NPR Business Desk. She has also worked for NPR member stations WFSU in Tallahassee and WLRN in Miami.