For the last several months, people in high-powered positions in Hollywood and moviemaking have been ousted after allegations of multiple counts of sexual misconduct. Harvey Weinstein, whose legal battles and investigations or still ongoing, first sparked the movement which has grown quite a bit. While the Academy took quick steps to remove Weinstein from their numbers, they now find themselves with another instance of sexual misconduct from a top tier member on the Board of Governors. John Bailey, the current president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, is now under investigation for alleged sexual harassment.
According to Variety, the Academy received three harassment claims on Wednesday. The organization then took immediate steps to open a probe, said sources close to the situation. No specific details about the allegations or who they are from have emerged yet. If John Bailey were to be expelled from the Academy, he would be replaced by Lois Burwell, a veteran makeup artist who is the Academy's vice president, until the next election in July.
John Bailey was elected as president of the Academy in August. His tenure came at a time when the Academy was revamping its membership to be more inclusive and include younger voters to have a more diverse line up of film nominees. The Academy has also been working to shifts its approach to the misconduct of members. In December, the organization set up a code of conduct that allows members to be disciplined for abuse, harassment, and discrimination.
The organization expelled Harvey Weinstein from its rank less than 10 days after the New York Times published an expose revealing Weinstein's deep alleged history of alleged sexual harassment and assault. Casey Affleck, who settled two sexual harassment lawsuits in 2010, was also removed as a presenter for the Best Actress award from this years ceremony, bucking the usual tradition.
Before he was elected as president of the Academy, John Bailey was a cinematographer, and his filmography includes movies such as Groundhog Day and The Big Chill. He was the first below the line leader of the Academy since the 1980s. He had a keen interest in how the crafts would be represented at the Academy, such as a stronger presence at the Academy museum.
The Academy has issued a statement on the matter, and while it cannot comment on an investigation or the identity of the accusers to protect their confidentiality, "The Membership Committee reviews all complaints brought against Academy members according to our Standards of Conduct process, and after completing reviews, reports to the Board of Governors."
The investigation into John Bailey's alleged misconduct is still ongoing, but keep checking back in with CinemaBlend and we'll keep you updated with new information as soon as it becomes available.