Polanski asks court to restore his film academy membership


LOS ANGELES (AP) — Roman Polanski asked a judge Friday to restore his membership in the organization that
bestows the Academy Awards nearly a year after he was expelled from it for sexual misconduct.
Lawyers for the 85-year-old fugitive director petitioned Los Angeles Superior Court to compel the Academy
of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to make him a member in good standing again.
In May, the academy made the rare move of expelling Polanski and Bill Cosby, months after ending the
membership of disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein.
Polanski appealed the decision, and in January the academy rejected his appeal.
Friday’s five-page filing states that by not giving Polanski sufficient notice of his expulsion, and not
giving he or his lawyer to argue his case in person during the appeal, the academy "failed to
comply with its own rules, policies and regulations."
The academy responded with a brief statement saying, "The procedures taken to expel Mr. Polanski
were fair and reasonable. The Academy stands behind its decision as appropriate."
The filing also alleges that the expulsion violated a California law that requires corporations to give a
fair hearing before removing a member, calling it a "prejudicial abuse of discretion."
Polanski’s attorney Harland Braun said at the time that Polanski was "blindsided" by his
removal, and learned of it through media reports.
The filing says that the academy’s decision is final and the director has no recourse for reconsideration
outside of the courts.
Polanski, who won a best director Oscar for "The Pianist" in 2003, remains a fugitive after
pleading guilty to unlawful sex with a minor in 1977 and fleeing the United States the following year.
He has been living in Europe since.
He had been an academy member for nearly 50 years at the time of his expulsion, and his films had been
nominated for 28 Oscars.
But he had long been one of the organization’s more divisive members. At the 2003 ceremony, Polanski’s
win — his first — received a standing ovation. He was not in attendance. He’d previously been nominated
for writing his adaptation of "Rosemary’s Baby," and directing "Chinatown" and
After expelling Weinstein, the academy implemented revised standards of conduct for its over 8,400
members. The standards said the organization is no place for "people who abuse their status, power
or influence in a manner that violates standards of decency."
The code allowed the academy’s board to suspend or expel those who violate the code of conduct or who
"compromise the integrity" of the academy.
There have been no reports of Weinstein or Cosby appealing their expulsions from the academy.
Before Weinstein, only one person is thought to have been expelled from the academy: Carmine Caridi, a
character actor who had his membership revoked in 2004 for lending DVD screeners of films in contention
for Oscars.
AP Film Writer Jake Coyle contributed to this report from New York.
Follow AP Entertainment Writer Andrew Dalton on Twitter: https://twitter.com/andyjamesdalton .

No posts to display