Academy sets new 'standards of conduct' amid Weinstein fallout

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On Wednesday, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Board of Governors approved new “standards of conduct” for members amid the fallout of the Harvey Weinstein revelations. A memo was sent out that night, as shown through screenshots posted to the web by journalists.

“On behalf of the Governors, I want to thank the specially formed task force, led by Governor and Academy Officer David Rubin, whose members dedicated many hours of research and discussion to drafting this document and evaluating future steps,” Academy CEO Dawn Hudson wrote in the letter.

According to the new guidelines, “members must also behave ethically by upholding the Academy’s values of respect for human dignity, inclusion, and a supportive environment that fosters creativity. The Academy asks that members embrace their responsibility to affirm these principles and act when these principles are violated. There is no place in the Academy for people who abuse their status, power or influence in a manner that violates recognized standards of decency.

“The Academy is categorically opposed to any form of abuse, harassment or discrimination on the basis of gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, disability, age, religion, or nationality. The Board of Governors believes that these standards are essential to the Academy’s mission and reflective of our values.”

Should any member violate these standards or compromise the integrity of the Academy, as determined by the board, “the Board of Governors may take any disciplinary action permitted by the Academy’s Bylaws, including suspension or expulsion.”

Weinstein, the now former head of The Weinstein Company, was stripped of his Academy membership when decades of sexual misconduct claims against him came to light from droves of women throughout the industry.

Weinstein has denied any allegations of non-consensual sex, but the Board of Governors determined “the conduct described in the allegations against Harvey Weinstein to be repugnant, abhorrent, and antithetical to the high standards of the Academy and the creative community it represents.”

The scandal sparked a revolution with numerous other individuals coming forward with claims against directors Brett Ratner and James Toback, actors Kevin Spacey and Jeffrey Tambor, former Amazon Studios head Roy Price, former WME agent Adam Venit, and others.

“Much remains to be done,” Hudson added in her memo. “The task force will finalize procedures for handling allegations of misconduct, assuring that we can address them fairly and expeditiously. This process will ultimately guide the Board of Governors in assessing if certain allegations warrant action regarding membership. Those procedures will be sent to you in the new year.”

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