Actor Geoffrey Rush resigned his position as the president of the Australian Academy Of Cinema And Television Arts last night, amid accusations of “inappropriate behavior” during a stint with the Sydney Theater Company in 2015. Details about the complaint against Rush have been kept largely silent—all we literally know is that someone said something—but the Oscar-winner has accused the organization of “smearing [his] name” by making the complaint public.
The Australian actor’s disdain for the accusations against him is pretty clear in the statement he made about leaving his role with the AACTA today, writing, “Certain recent media reports have made untenable allegations concerning my standing in the entertainment community. It is unreasonable that my professional colleagues should be somehow associated with such allegations…In the current climate of innuendo and unjustifiable reporting, I believe the decision to make a clean break to clear the air is the best for all concerned.” The AACTA swiftly accepted his resignation, issuing a statement on its website that reads, “We have been deeply concerned about the situation and support a course of action that both respects Geoffrey’s rights to the presumption of innocence and due process, but also acknowledges good corporate governance in these circumstances.”
The organization’s annual awards show is generally seen as the Australian equivalent to the Oscars in America, or the BAFTAs in the U.K. The ceremony is scheduled for late (from our perspective, anyway) tomorrow night.