Film Academy expels actor Cosby, director Polanski

A jury found Bill Cosby guilty on three counts of sexual assault this month, for drugging and molesting Andrea Constand at his Philadelphia mansion in January 2004
AFP

Los Angeles (AFP) – The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said on Thursday that it has expelled actor Bill Cosby and film director Roman Polanski from its membership in light of the sexual assault cases against both men.

The Academy’s board of governors met on Tuesday night and voted to strip both men of membership “in accordance with the organization’s Standards of Conduct,” said a statement fromt he body, which hands out the Oscars.

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

Cosby, once the darling of American television, has been accused of sexual assault by dozens of women.

A 12-member Pennsylvania jury found the 80-year-old comedian guilty on three counts of sexual assault on April 26 for drugging and molesting Andrea Constand at his Philadelphia mansion in January 2004.

Polanski, who lives in France, for his part is wanted in the United States for the statutory rape of a 13-year-old girl in 1977.

The veteran director of “Rosemary’s Baby” for years has been seeking to negotiate a deal in the case with US authorities.

The Academy last October also voted to expel disgraced film mogul Harvey Weinstein in response to allegations of sexual assault and harassment.

The body’s board of governors includes some of the biggest names in the industry, among them Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks and Whoopi Goldberg.

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