In a statement, the Academy said the decision was made in compliance with its code of conduct, which was updated earlier this year. Here's the organization's announcement in full:
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Board of Governors met on Tuesday night (May 1) and has voted to expel actor Bill Cosby and director Roman Polanski from its membership in accordance with the organization'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.
Cosby and Polanski are just the third and fourth people ever to be kicked out of the prestigious film group, following actor Carmine Caridi in 2004 (for sharing Oscars screeners) and disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein back in October of last year (following allegations of sexual assault and harassment from dozens of women). Weinstein's ouster was seen as the driving force behind these two most recent expulsions, with many in the Hollywood community wondering why Cosby and Polanski remained among the Academy's ranks despite their alleged -- and in Polanski's case, admitted -- similar behavior.
Just last week, Cosby was convicted of three counts of sexual assault, and has been accused of drugging and assaulting dozens more women. Like Weinstein, he has denied all allegations of non-consensual sexual conduct.
In 1978, Polanski was awaiting sentencing for statutory rape when he fled the country; he has lived in exile overseas ever since. (He did not attend the ceremony when he won the Best Director Oscar in 2003 for "The Pianist.") The director has since "accepted responsibility" and apologized to his victim, Polanski's attorney said in an interview with Variety.
In this adaptation of the autobiography "The Pianist: The Extraordinary True Story of One Man's Survival in Warsaw, 1939-1945," Wladyslaw Szpilman (Adrien Brody), a Polish Jewish radio station pianist, sees Warsaw change gradually as World War II begins. Szpilman is forced into the Warsaw Ghetto, but is later separated from his family during Operation Reinhard. From this time until the concentration camp prisoners are released, Szpilman hides in various locations among the ruins of Warsaw. Read More