Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences president John Bailey has been accused of sexual harassment, according to a new report. An investigation was opened into Bailey as recently as this week, Variety reported Friday.
Bailey had at last three complaints made against him on Wednesday, which immediately prompted an investigation, a source familiar with the matter revealed. The details of his alleged harassment are not immediately clear.
Bailey is considered something of a fresh face in the Academy. He’s only been president since August 2017 and was involved in the Academy’s decision to expel Harvey Weinstein in October. He was also involved in the Academy’s decision to replace Casey Affleck in this year’s Oscars presentation over the actor’s alleged sexual misconduct.
After the #MeToo movement began to gain traction, Bailey encouraged women to speak out.
“The fossilized bedrock of many of Hollywood’s worst abuses are being jackhammered into oblivion,” he said in February. “The Academy is at a crossroads of change…We are witnessing this motion picture academy reinvent itself in front of our very eyes, and a greater awareness and responsibility in balancing gender, race, ethnicity, and religion.”
Especially ironic is the fact that the Academy set a new code of rules for Academy members in December. The code of conduct ruled that the Board Of Governors could “take any disciplinary action” for perpetrating any sort of abuse, harassment, or discrimination. The new code blankly states, “There is no place in the Academy for people who abuse their status, power, or influence in a manner that violates recognized standards of decency.”
But it sounds like that’s exactly what John Bailey has allegedly been doing.
If the allegations prove to be true and Bailey is found to be yet another sexual harasser in Hollywood, he’ll likely have to step down. Variety speculates that he’ll be replaced by Lois Burwell, who’s currently the Academy’s vice president and a longtime entertainment industry makeup artist.
Nearly 80 men in Hollywood and media have been accused of sexual harassment since news first broke about Harvey Weinstein last fall. A growing public skepticism for the entertainment industry likely accounted for the worst Oscars ratings in history this year, despite celebrities’ attempts to lecture average Americans on morality and fairness.
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