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Bill Cosby, Roman Polanski expelled from film academy that runs the Oscars

Bill Cosby speaks to an audience at the University of the District of Columbia in Washington in 2006; director Roman Polanski appears at the photo call for the film, “Based on a True Story,” at the Cannes Film Festival in 2017. (AP)

Bill Cosby, 80, and Roman Polanski, 84, have been expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, best known as the organization behind the Oscars.

The academy released a statement on Thursday: “The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ board of governors met on Tuesday night (May 1) and has voted to expel actor Bill Cosby and director Roman Polanski from its membership in accordance with the organization’s standards of conduct. The board continues to encourage ethical standards that require members to uphold the academy’s values of respect for human dignity.”

Bill Cosby convicted on three counts of sexual assault

Last week, after a second trial in the case of Andrea Constand, Cosby was convicted on three counts of sexual assault; the comedian is also accused of drugging and raping dozens of women. Although he is mostly known as a TV star, he has appeared in movies such as “Aesop’s Fables” and “The Meteor Man.”

In 1977, Polanski pleaded guilty to having sex with a 13-year-old girl. After a little over a month in prison, he fled to France and has not been back in the United States since, despite multiple extradition attempts. His film career continued, and he won the Oscar for best director for “The Pianist” in 2003.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, the academy adopted “a new procedure for enforcing a standards of conduct” [policy] late last year after producer Harvey Weinstein was expelled after sexual assault and abuse allegations.

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