Harvey Weinstein was expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences over the weekend, and it sounds like he might not be the last to go.
Kathleen Kennedy recently spoke about what’s next for the organization, saying that she thinks it might need to start looking at the behavior of other Academy members. Kennedy is the president of Lucasfilm, and she sits on the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Board of Governors.
“We are going to have to look at what does that mean for the future, what kind of changes, moral clause, that we need to put into the bylaws at the Academy,” Kennedy said, according to ABC News. “And then I’m sure that the next step will be that we’ll start to look at some of these other people.”
Kennedy gave this response when asked what the Academy will do moving forward about some of the other “bad actors” within the organization. She said that the Academy this week was focused on Harvey Weinstein, but she suggested that it could take action against these individuals in the future.
While Kennedy didn’t name any names, the two most obvious examples of people who are still members of the Academy but could be expelled are Bill Cosby and Roman Polanski. Bill Cosby has been accused of rape by over 60 women, yet The Hollywood Reporter confirmed this week that he is still a member of the Academy. Also still a member is Roman Polanski, who in 1977 was charged with raping a 13-year-old girl and pled guilty to statutory rape. Not only is Polanski still a member, but the Academy awarded him with the Oscar for Best Director in 2002.
Mel Gibson is still a member of the Academy as well, even though he has been caught on tape making racist and anti-Semitic remarks on numerous occasions. The Academy nominated Mel Gibson for Best Director at the 2017 Oscars.
When the Academy voted to expel Harvey Weinstein this past week, it was the first time they’ve ever removed anyone from the organization for behavior like this; the only other time someone was removed from the Academy, it was because they leaked movie screeners online.
“Several of us were on the phone or in the room,” Kathleen Kennedy said of this meeting about Weinstein. “I think the emotions were that people recognized this was an extremely important decision on the part of the Academy. And I think they made the right choice.”
Some have suggested adding a moral clause to the Academy’s rules which would clearly outline that the organization will expel anyone who engages in unacceptable behavior like this, which would open the door to more people like Harvey Weinstein to be dealt with in the future. This is something Kathleen Kennedy seemed to be open to, as did Academy President John Bailey in an email to members this week.
“It is up to all of us Academy members to more clearly define for ourselves the parameters of proper conduct, of sexual equality, and respect for our fellow artists throughout industry,” Bailey said in an email this week, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “The Academy cannot, and will not, be an inquisitorial court, but we can be a part of a larger initiative to define standards of behavior, and to support the vulnerable women and men who may be at personal and career risk because of violations of ethical standards by their peers.”