By Josh Rottenberg
Los Angeles Times
WWR Article Summary (tl:dr) Columnist Josh Rottenberg takes a look at how the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is responding to the series of sexual harassment scandals in the community… “As Hollywood’s most exclusive organization wrestles with the new realities of the post-Harvey Weinstein era, it seems behavior offscreen may now be taken into consideration as well.”
Los Angeles Times
As this year’s Oscar season heats up, along with the usual questions about who’s up and who’s down in the Academy Awards horse race, there are likely to be other, thornier questions lingering in the air at cocktail parties and on red carpets.
Since its founding 90 years ago, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has based membership in the group solely, at least in theory, on achievements in the world of film. But as Hollywood’s most exclusive organization wrestles with the new realities of the post-Harvey Weinstein era, it seems behavior offscreen may now be taken into consideration as well.
With shock waves from a series of sexual harassment scandals continuing to reverberate across the entertainment industry and beyond, the academy sent a letter on Wednesday to its roughly 8,500 members outlining new standards of conduct that they will be expected to uphold. These new standards, the academy’s leadership said, reflect and codify the organization’s values of “respect for human dignity, inclusion, and a supportive environment that fosters creativity.”
The academy’s 54-member board of governors, which includes such luminaries as Steven Spielberg, Kathleen Kennedy, Tom Hanks and Whoopi Goldberg, approved the standards in a meeting Tuesday night. The move follows the board’s decision on Oct. 14 to expel Weinstein from the academy after multiple allegations of sexual misconduct were made against the film mogul.
“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,” the two-paragraph statement reads in part. “The Academy is categorically opposed to any form of abuse, harassment or discrimination on the basis of gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, disability, age, religion, or nationality.”