Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Film Academy dismisses harassment charge against president John Bailey

Illustration for article titled Film Academy dismisses harassment charge against president John Bailey
Photo: Rodin Eckenroth (Getty Images)

Although it’s no longer dominating the news cycle, the gears of the movement started by #MeToo are still turning in Hollywood, whether that be the outing of accused predators or simply out-of-touch directors saying stupid shit about issues they clearly don’t understand. Witness Terry Gilliam, who just today “spoke out” against what he calls “mob rule” and said that women “knew what they were doing” when they attended meetings with accused serial rapist Harvey Weinstein. But there is—at least we hope that there is—one element of truth to the rantings of Gilliam et al, and that’s that a reckoning is coming even for predators at the highest levels of the entertainment industry. The question is whether you think that’s a good thing (as we do) or not. Which brings us to John Bailey, the current head of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.


The 75-year-old Bailey became president of the Academy in a surprise electoral victory last August, after frontrunner Laura Dern took herself out of the running because she was too busy with upcoming roles. Now, Bailey faces disciplinary action or potentially even expulsion, depending on the results of an internal investigation into three separate claims of sexual harassment leveled against him this week. The Academy learned of the allegations against Bailey on Wednesday, according to Variety, and began an internal review immediately after.

Bailey, a former cinematographer, presided over the expulsion of Weinstein from the Academy last October, as well as the establishment of a code of conduct that includes a rigorous process for reviewing claims made by Academy members. Per that code, if the allegations against Bailey are deemed credible by the Academy’s Membership and Administration Committee, he’ll be referred to the Board of Directors for disciplinary measures. If they decide to kick him out, he’ll be replaced by VP Lois Burwell, a makeup artist who would serve until an Academy-wide election in July.

The Academy has not released any details of the allegations made against Bailey, who has refused to comment.

UPDATE, 3/28/2018: In a statement released last night to The Hollywood Reporter, the Academy says that, contrary to reports, there was only one claim formally filed against Bailey, and that it has been reviewed and dismissed. “The Committee unanimously determined that no further action was merited on this matter ... John Bailey remains President of the Academy,” the statement reads.