The president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the organizers of the Oscars, is under investigation for sexual harassment, trade publications reported on Friday.
Citing unnamed sources, Variety and The Hollywood Reporter said the Academy opened an investigation after receiving three claims of sexual harassment against John Bailey this week. The Academy released a statement Friday that did not specifically mention the allegations against Bailey but said that the organization treats all complaints against Academy members confidentially and conducts a review to report to board members. Representatives for Bailey did not immediately return EW’s requests for comment.
Bailey was elected as president of the prestigious organization, which is made up of 7,000-plus members of the film industry, in August 2017.
The news comes as Hollywood still contends with the spotlight on sexual misconduct, which for decades took place behind the scenes.
More than 70 women have come forward to accuse Harvey Weinstein of sexual misconduct, including rape. Weinstein, through his representative, has denied all allegations of nonconsensual sex. The onslaught against him that began last October led the Academy to take drastic measures against the veteran producer, who had ushered many films to Oscar success, by expelling him for life and implementing a new code of conduct.
The allegations prompted the #MeToo movement and the Time’s Up campaign and legal defense fund, started by more than 300 film industry figures at the beginning of this year to end sexual harassment in the workplace and promote gender and racial equality. At this year’s Oscars ceremony, host Jimmy Kimmel frequently brought up the issue on stage with biting quips and scathing remarks directed at men in Hollywood who abused their positions in power. Three Weinstein accusers — Salma Hayek, Ashley Judd, and Annabella Sciorra — took the stage to champion Time’s Up and the Academy’s push for inclusion and diversity.
Bailey, a cinematographer known for Ordinary People, American Gigolo, and The Way Way Back, took over in as president in August after Cheryl Boone Isaacs, who served for four years, stepped down. Academy presidents are elected every year, with no person serving more than four consecutive years. Boone Isaacs oversaw the organization through a tumultuous few years as it came under attack for #OscarsSoWhite after nominating only white actors for two consecutive years, and announced the implementation of a diversity initiative that would aim to double the Academy’s female and minority members by 2020.
This post has been updated to include the Academy’s statement.