Oscar Academy president denies harassment allegations

Oscar Academy president denies harassment allegations
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Motion Picture Academy President John Bailey speaks at the Foreign Language Film nominees cocktail reception in Beverly Hills, California, U.S., March 2, 2018. REUTERS/David McNew

Los Angeles: John Bailey, President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, has denied all allegations of sexual harassment against him.

Bailey penned a memo to the Academy staff, saying media reports which accuse him of sexual misconduct, are “false” and that they “have served only to tarnish my 50 year career”.

He said the allegations involved a “single named complaint” involving inappropriate touching while on a transport van on a movie set. Bailey has denied the claim, saying “That did not happen”, reports hollywoodreporter.com.

Bailey also cited the Academy’s new standards of conduct for members, instituted in December.

“The fact that the existence of an allegation even became public thwarts the confidential review process that the Academy adopted and is supposed to follow when receiving complaints,” the note read.

He said the review process would exonerate him from the allegations.

“While there have been well documented instances of individuals in this industry not treating women with respect, I am not one of them,” he wrote.

An Academy sub-committee led by David Rubin began investigating the claims in mid-March. The Academy did not comment on the investigation, as per their review process, which rules the organisation may comment following a completed investigation.

Earlier this week, Bailey had hired Attorney David Schindler to fight the allegations.

Bailey, an award-winning cinematographer for films like “The Big Chill” and “Ordinary People”, has been with the Academy for 15 years. He was elected the president to follow the previous person in the post, Cheryl Boone Isaacs, last August.

Producer Harvey Weinstein was earlier banned from the Academy after a string of sexual harassment allegations involving him came to the fore.

—IANS