Convicted rapist Roman Polanski is still no longer a member of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. After careful consideration, the esteemed group behind the Oscars has decided they will maintain their expulsion of the fugitive filmmaker who raped a 13-year-old girl in 1977, pled guilty, then fled the US ahead of his sentencing. The only reason child-rapist Polanski’s continued ostracizing from the Academy is news is because he tried to sue for re-entry.
See, even though it was known since ‘78 that Polanski was a convicted child rapist, Hollywood was willing to look the other way. With the success of Rosemary’s Baby and Chinatown behind him, Polanski would continue to work with big names like Walter Matthau, Harrison Ford, Johnny Depp, Adrien Brody, Jodie Foster, Kate Winslet, and Christoph Waltz. He would continue to score nominations too, and even a win with 2002’s The Pianist. But it was a bittersweet moment for the on-the-lam rapist. Polanski could not accept this Best Director award in person because if he returned to the US, he’d be arrested for the 1977 rape of a child.
40 years later, in the wake of Me Too, The Academy reassessed their take on known rapists, and so ousted Harvey Weinstein and later Polanski and Bill Cosby. But Polanski wasn’t about to let his rape of a child get in the way of him getting a ton of cool movie screeners, prestige, and swag. So he sued, claiming The Academy went against established protocol when they booted a convicted rapist from their ranks. This week, The Academy has responded, doubling down on their decision with a new defense. After two board meetings at which they discussed a 400-page dossier from Polanski and a video in which he directly addressed the board, The Academy decided they still didn’t want this convicted rapist in their group.
Officially, The Academy’s lawyer explains:
“The Academy’s own Bylaws make clear that the Board enjoys broad discretion to expel members for cause and do all other acts necessary or expedient for the administration of the affairs and attainment of the Academy’s mission and purposes. Moreover, the board has discretion to determine the procedure for a hearing or investigation.”
Unofficially, that boils down to “Polanski, f*ck off.”
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