June 12, 2019 12:04 pm

Academy defends its expulsion of Roman Polanski

Polish film director Roman Polanski portraited during Netia Off Camera film festival in Krakow, Poland on May 2, 2018.

Beata Zawrzel/NurPhoto via Getty Images
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The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has filed a defence of its decision to expel Roman Polanski last year.

The academy said Polanski was given a fair opportunity to challenge the decision.

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The director sued the academy in April because he claims it had failed to follow its own procedures when it voted to expel him in 2018.

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Polanski, who won a Best Director Oscar for 2002′s The Pianist, remains a fugitive after fleeing the United States in 1978 following a guilty plea to unlawful sex with a minor. He fled to France before he could be sentenced and has remained in exile ever since.

Bill Cosby, who was convicted of sexual assault in Pennsylvania, and Polanski were expelled from academy membership in 2018 for violations of the organization’s recently revised standards of conduct.

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The academy said that after Polanski claimed he was not given a fair hearing, he was asked to submit any written information relevant to the consideration of whether he should or shouldn’t remain a member.

Polanski “presented a 10-page letter from his lawyer advocating his position, over 400 pages of supporting documents, a copy of a documentary titled Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired, an email from his counsel, and a recorded video statement by petitioner addressing the board,” the academy’s lawyer, John Quinn, wrote. “All of these materials were presented to the board of governors, who voted on Jan. 26, 2019 to uphold petitioner’s expulsion by a more than two-thirds supermajority.”

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The academy also said that this process was “fair and reasonable.”

“The Academy’s own bylaws make clear that the board enjoys broad discretion to expel members for cause and do all other acts necessary or expedient for the administration of the affairs and attainment of the academy’s mission and purposes,” the Academy’s lawyers wrote. “Moreover, the board has discretion to determine the procedure for a hearing or investigation.”

Credit: Deadline

—With a file from the Associated Press

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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