Academy says it was 'fair and reasonable' to expel Roman Polanski after director sues

Ben Arnold
Roman Polanski (Credit: AFP Photo/Laurent Emmanuel)
Roman Polanski (Credit: AFP Photo/Laurent Emmanuel)

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has said that the procedures it used to expel director Roman Polanski were ‘fair and reasonable’.

The director filed a lawsuit against the Academy, the body which presents the Oscars, last week.

He claims that the decision to expel him ‘is not supported by findings, and the Academy’s findings are not supported by evidence’.

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But in a statement (via Variety), AMPAS has defended its position, saying: “The procedures taken to expel Mr. Polanski were fair and reasonable. The Academy stands behind its decision as appropriate.”

It removed Polanski, along with Bill Cosby, from its ranks last year, after also expelling producer Harvey Weinstein.

At the time, it said that it acted against Polanski ‘in accordance with the organization’s Standards of Conduct’, in order to ‘uphold the Academy’s values of respect for human dignity’.

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Polanski, who made feted movies including Rosemary’s Baby and Chinatown, fled the US in 1977 after he was arrested for the rape of a 13-year-old girl and has lived in Europe ever since.

Despite the claims against him, he still won the Oscar for Best Director in 2003 for his film The Pianist.

The director’s lawyer Harland Braun told Variety last week: “We are litigating the fairness of their procedure.

“They threw him out without warning and without giving him a chance to respond. There was not even any notice of why. After 40 years on the same day as [Bill] Cosby. Give me a break.”