There’s been some movement toward more transparency and less tolerance of sexual harassment in Washington, but what about Hollywood? That’s where all of this started, after all. In the wake of the Harvey Weinstein revelations (along with too many others to list at this point), the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences – the people who bring you the Oscars – has drafted a new code of conduct. One might assume that the 21st century version is going to include some guidance about not raping your employees. (USA Today)
As sexual harassment scandals continue to rock Hollywood, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has issued a new code of conduct for its members.
Following bombshell sexual misconduct allegations against Hollywood figures including movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, director James Toback and actor Kevin Spacey, Academy CEO Dawn Hudson emailed members Wednesday evening, informing them of the new “statement of values” members are expected to uphold.
Procedures for handling allegations of misconduct are being finalized, she said in a memo obtained by USA TODAY.
Their CEO proudly noted that they had consulted with, “professors of ethics, business, philosophy and law from Georgetown, Harvard, Notre Dame and Stanford, as well as experts in human resources and sexual harassment.”
That all sounds great, but isn’t there some unfinished business from the past to take care of before you settle in for a brighter and hopefully less rapey future? For example, the Academy recently moved to expel Harvey Weinstein. Fair enough. I doubt many people outside Weinstein’s inner circle would argue with that one. But if Weinstein is unacceptable as a member, why is Roman Polanski still holding a place of great honor? Seriously, folks… even the LA Times has been asking that question.
Think about it for a moment. Weinstein has been convicted in the Court of Public Opinion, but he’s yet to face a jury. Polanski was actually convicted of drugging, raping and sodomizing a thirteen-year-old child. And he’s holding on to more than just a seat at the table with the Academy. You may recall his surprise Oscar win in 2003 as Best Director. Let’s go back to that special moment through the magic of YouTube and see some of the people lauding Polanski while being fully aware of the fact that he wasn’t even legally able to set foot in the United States to accept the trophy.
If you watch carefully, as the Daily Wire pointed out earlier this year, you can see Meryl Streep giving the convicted rapist a standing ovation. And she’s not the only one. You might be able to turn a blind eye in some cases and claim that you never really believed the rumors about Kevin Spacey, but Polanski has been on the run from the law for decades.
And while we’re on the subject, what about Bill Cosby? He may not have been convicted (at least yet) but surely the laundry list of women who accused him of drugging and raping them amounts to the same level of evidence as you had on Weinstein. Cosby is still a member of the Academy. And so is Spacey for that matter.
It’s nice that you’ve crafted this new code of ethics and all, but even if your old rulebook didn’t include any handy tips about not locking young actresses in your office for “private auditions,” that doesn’t let some of your previous offenders off the hook. If you’re actually going to clean house and convince everyone you’re serious you’ll be needing a significantly larger broom.