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Motion Picture Academy president John Bailey cleared of sexual harassment claims after internal investigation

on March 28, 2018, 10:53am

Earlier this month, it was revealed that John Bailey, president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, was the subject of a complaint of sexual harassment. The incident was especially notable as it would serve as one of the first tests of the Academy’s new code of conduct, which was passed this past December in the wake of disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein’s expulsion from the organization. The investigation has since concluded and the Academy says it has “unanimously determined that no further action was merited on this matter.”

The Academy asserts that it took the claim “very seriously and was cognizant of the rights of both the claimant and the accused.” They also consulted with its longstanding General Counsel John Quinn, as well as lawyer Ivy Kagan Bierman, who is currently an advisor to The Commission on Eliminating Sexual Harassment and Promoting Equality in the Workplace.

They also note that only one complaint was filed, not three, as some outlets have reported.

In a memo issued on March 24th to the Academy’s staff, Bailey, who served as the director of photography on films like Groundhog Day and The Big Chill, characterized media reports as “false and have served only to tarnish my 50-year career.”

He continued: “While I cannot undo the damage of having a false narrative leaked to the press I expect the committee will undertake its obligation to review this matter faithfully. Because I know the facts, I expect they will conclude that there is no basis to take any action against me. While there have been well-documented instances of individuals in this industry not treating women with respect, I am not one of them. I care deeply about women’s issues and support equal treatment and access for all individuals working in this profession. I am proud to serve as president of the Academy and am committed to carrying on the important work the board elected me to do.”

Bailey will continue serving as the President of the Academy.

Read the Academy’s full statement on the matter below:

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced today that it has concluded its review, based on its Standards of Conduct, into the allegation made against Academy President John Bailey. The Membership and Administration Committee and its sub-committee thoroughly reviewed and considered the claim, John Bailey’s response, and corroborating statements from both parties. The Academy took the claim very seriously and was cognizant of the rights of both the claimant and the accused, including consulting with outside counsel with expertise in matters related to harassment.

Contrary to previous reports, there was only one claim under consideration which was received on Tuesday, March 13, 2018.

Throughout the process, the Academy received advice and counsel from its longstanding General Counsel John Quinn at Quinn Emanuel, as well as from Ivy Kagan Bierman, a partner at Loeb & Loeb who has extensive experience with entertainment industry sexual harassment matters and is currently an advisor to The Commission on Eliminating Sexual Harassment and Promoting Equality in the Workplace, chaired by Anita Hill.

The Committee unanimously determined that no further action was merited on this matter. The findings and recommendations of the committee were reported to the Board, which endorsed its recommendation. John Bailey remains President of the Academy.

The Academy respects the confidentiality of both the claimant and John Bailey, and will refrain from discussing the specifics regarding the claim.

The Academy’s goal is to encourage workplace environments that support creativity, equality, and respect.