Academy of Motion Pictures chief John Bailey accused of sexual misconduct: Reports

John Bailey speaking at an event in Beverly Hills, California, on March 2, 2018.
John Bailey speaking at an event in Beverly Hills, California, on March 2, 2018.PHOTO: REUTERS

LOS ANGELES (REUTERS) - The president of the Academy of Motion Pictures, the organisation that hands out the Oscars, has been accused of sexual misconduct, Hollywood trade publications reported on Friday (March 16).

Citing unnamed sources, The Hollywood Reporter and Variety reported that the Academy had received three claims of sexual harassment against John Bailey on Wednesday and began an investigation.

They did not give details.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said in a brief statement, “The Academy treats any complaints confidentially to protect all parties. The Membership Committee reviews all complaints brought against Academy members according to our Standards of Conduct process, and after completing reviews, reports to the Board of Governors. We will not comment further on such matters until the full review is completed.”

A representative for Bailey did not reply to a request for comment.

Bailey, 75, a movie director and cinematographer, was elected president of the Academy in August 2017.

Friday's reports came two weeks after the annual Oscar ceremony, where the sexual misconduct scandal that has rocked Hollywood was a key topic and where some of the actresses who have spoken out about it were given a platform.

Dozens of high-profile men have been fired or have resigned from their jobs in politics, media, entertainment and business after facing accusations of sexual misconduct, including Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein.

Bailey told the annual luncheon for Oscar nominees in February that the 90-year-old Academy was reinventing itself with programs committed to inclusion and diversity "in today's era of a greater awareness and responsibility in balancing gender, race, ethnicity and religion."

The Academy in December issued its first code of conduct for its 8,000 members and has developed an online form for members to submit claims of misconduct on the grounds of sexual behavior, gender, sexual orientation, race, age, and religion.

According to the guidelines, claimants must supply evidence of alleged behaviour and an accused person has 10 days to respond before a review is undertaken by the academy's membership committee.