John Bailey
John Bailey & Lawrence KasdanAmerican Society of Cinematographers 29. Annual Qutstanding Achievement Awards 2015 15/02/2015 Centiry City/picture alliance Photo by: BREUEL-BILD/ABB/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images

Not a full month after numerous public figures took the stage at the 90th Academy Awards to make public statements in support of the #MeToo movement, Academy President, John Bailey, is under investigation for sexual assault. Reports from Variety indicate that three claims of sexual harassment were made against the Academy President and the Academy immediately opened a probe in response.

The investigation comes as a surprise to many onlookers who have seen the Academy take a stiffer stance on sexual misconduct, harassment and assault since Bailey’s election in August. Since electing Bailey, the Academy expelled Harvey Weinstein less than two weeks after the groundbreaking New York Times report that chronicled Weinstein’s history sexual misconduct. The Academy also replaced Casey Affleck as the presenter of the Best Actress award at this year’s Oscars after it was brought to light that the actor had settled two sexual harassment lawsuits in 2010. Most recently, the Academy established a new code of conduct that includes language that holds the Academy responsible for disciplining or expelling members who commit acts of harassment, discrimination or bigotry. This new code of conduct includes a claims process for how allegations of sexual misconduct should be handled.

No official statement has been made by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the investigation has not led to any conclusions or arrests. However, if Bailey were to step down, Lois Burwell, the Academy’s Vice President would take his position. Prior to earning the position of Vice President, Burwell was a decorated makeup artist who worked on iconic films such as Lincoln, The Green Mile, Saving Private Ryan, Catch Me If You Can and the first Mission: Impossible.


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