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Bill Cosby, Roman Polanski Expelled From Oscars Academy


Bill Cosby and Roman Polanski have been expelled from the US Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

The academy – which runs the Oscars – said this was done in accordance with its standards of conduct.

TV star Cosby was convicted of sexual assault last month. Oscar-winning director Polanski admitted statutory rape of a 13-year-old girl in 1977.

Neither Cosby nor Polanski have publicly reacted to the academy’s decision.

In a statement, the academy said its board “has voted to expel actor Bill Cosby and director Roman Polanski from its membership in accordance with the organisation’s Standards of Conduct”.

“The Board continues to encourage ethical standards that require members to uphold the Academy’s values of respect for human dignity,” it added.

Only four people are known to have been expelled in its 91-year history.

The first was actor Carmine Caridi, who had his membership revoked in 2004 after he allegedly sent confidential film preview videos to a friend which ended up online.

On social media, many people have been asking what took the academy so long to take action against Polanski, who has been honoured in the decades since he admitted to statutory rape.

The unlawful sex case against Polanski, now aged 84, has dragged on for more than 40 years.

For Bill Cosby, the answer appears obvious.

A criminal conviction seems to be the standard which was applied in this case: expulsion from the academy came just one week after a guilty verdict.

Roman Polanski’s expulsion, by very stark contrast, comes more than 2,000 weeks after he pleaded guilty to having sex with a minor.

Not only that but Harvey Weinstein was expelled without a criminal conviction although he faces (and denies) allegations of rape.

So why did it take Hollywood more than 40 years to decide that the statutory rape of a 13-year-old was beneath its precious “values of respect for human dignity”?

In April, Cosby, 80, was found guilty of three counts of sexual assault, each of which carries a potential 10 years in prison.

He was on trial for drugging and assaulting ex-basketball player Andrea Constand in 2004.

It was the second time the actor had stood trial for the allegations, after an earlier jury failed to reach a verdict in 2017.

Cosby starred in sitcom The Cosby Show, which was a global hit and ran from 1984-92. Cosby was widely known as “America’s Dad” for his fatherly role in the comedy.

At one point, he was the highest-paid actor in the US, according to BBC reports. 

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