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Motion Picture Academy Gets Serious About Reporting Misconduct

Dawn HudsonDawn Hudson

As promised, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has issued a new policy for reporting misconduct within the film industry.

While doubling down on the assertion that the academy will not initiate investigations into misconduct - like the rampant wave of sexual harassment and assault accusations to follow the Harvey Weinstein scandal - there is now a process to report such behavior, The Wrap reported.

“There is no place in the academy for people who abuse their status, power or influence,” said a Saturday email to members from academy CEO Dawn Hudson. In the email, Hudson said that the board, led by David Rubin, had been considering the process “since the depth of this issue first came to light.”

The email linked to a page on the academy’s members-only website that details the process through which violations will be reported and investigated.

Claimants may file written accounts or call in to report alleged misconduct, after which the academy will review and attempt to verify claims before escalating matters. In its bylaws, the group’s governors reserve the right to revoke memberships. The policy also pledges confidentiality in the process to the extent possible.

Weinstein’s membership was revoked in October, nine days after the New York Times published a game-changing report containing numerous accusations of harassment and assault. Later, a New Yorker exposé accused Weinstein of rape. The disgraced mogul has consistently denied any nonconsensual sex.

Since the academy expelled Weinstein, it has been under pressure to look into whether other members, including Oscar winners Roman Polanski and Kevin Spacey, should also be stripped of their membership.

Members of the board have privately conveyed misgivings about investigations into other members turning into a witch hunt of sorts. But the review process, which was promised in an initial email from Hudson last year, will allow potential violations of the code of conduct to be examined if and only if they are reported to the academy.

Dawn Hudson’s email also promised that additional adjustments to the policies are all but inevitable. “Our work continues,” she wrote, “and will require us to be nimble and refine our procedures as times demand.”

 

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