NEW YORK • The president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the organisation behind the Oscars, has denied sexual harassment allegations.
In a memo sent to academy staff, cinematographer John Bailey (photo) said allegations in Hollywood trade publications that he tried to touch a woman inappropriately a decade ago on a movie set were untrue, Variety reported last Saturday.
A representative for Bailey did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Bailey, whose work dates to the 1970s and includes acclaimed films such as Groundhog Day (1993), said in the memo that media reports describing complaints to the academy were false and served only to tarnish his 50-year career, Variety reported.
He was elected as the academy's leader in August last year, weeks before a series of sex scandals went public and upended the film industry.
In October last year, the group's Board of Governors voted to expel producer Harvey Weinstein, who was publicly accused of demanding sexual favours from women.
At the Oscars luncheon in January, Bailey said: "I may be a 75-year-old white male, but I'm every bit as gratified as the youngest of you here that the fossilised bedrock of many of Hollywood's worst abuses are being jackhammered into oblivion."