Variety reports that three sexual harassment claims were filed against John Bailey, the president of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. Immediately after the accusations, the Hollywood entity launched an investigation into the situation.
Since the #MeToo movement ignited, the Academy has presented itself as an ally. Back in December, they created "a code of conduct which provides that members may be disciplined or expelled for abuse, harassment or discrimination." There's also an official "claims process" for accusers. Harvey Weinstein was voted out of the institution after a torrent of sexual harassment claims came out about him. Casey Affleck, who was accused of sexual harassment in a 2010 case, lost his gig as a presenter at this year's award ceremony. Even James Franco, who's accused of sexual misconduct, was notably absent from the nominations list this year after success at the Golden Globes just prior.
Now it seems that the Academy may have an issue on the inside as well. Bailey was elected for the coveted seat last August. As Variety notes, if he steps down, vice president Lois Burwell will serve as the acting president until the institution's next election in July.
Bailey is known for his work as a cinematographer. He's worked on classic films like The Big Chill and Groundhog Day. Although his election drew concern as many criticized the Academy for electing a 75-year-old white man in the midst of outcries for diversity in the Academy behind the scenes and in the nominations. To that, Bailey completely disagreed.
"What you just said is bullshit," he told Variety at the time. "I was born a white man, and I can’t help it that I’m 75 years old. Is this some sort of limiting factor?" Now it seems that he might not have a choice but to leave.