Academy President Denies Sexual Harassment Accusations: ‘False Narrative Leaked to the Press’

John Bailey called multiple accounts of harassment false in a Friday memo

Last Updated: March 24, 2018 @ 3:34 PM

Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President John Bailey has denied reports of multiple sexual harassment complaints made against him.

In a Friday memo to staff obtained by TheWrap, Bailey said three reported harassment accusations were defamatory and false. Only one account of inappropriate touching from over a decade ago on a movie set was logged, he said, which Bailey also denies.

“There was a single named complaint regarding an allegation dating back more than a decade ago in which I am alleged to have to attempted to touch a woman inappropriately while we were both riding in a transport van on a movie set. That did not happen,” Bailey wrote.

“The media reports describing multiple complaints made to the Academy about me are false and have served only to tarnish my 50 year career,” he continued. “I have supported women throughout my career and am heartened by the outpouring of support I have received from numerous women with whom I have worked and supported during my career.”

Three different women came forward with complaints, Variety reported eight days ago. A subcommittee, headed by casting director David Rubin who just lost the Academy president election to Bailey, is currently investigating the matter.

No action has been taken in terms of leave or suspension, but Bailey’s first vice president and makeup artist Lois Burwell would take his place in that event.

Read the full memo:

Dear staff:

I have refrained from comment on the various media accounts about me of the past several days because I wanted to allow the Academy process to play out. However, in light of several repeated false stories, I feel compelled to set the record straight with those of you who work side by side with me on behalf of the Academy. The media reports describing multiple complaints made to the Academy about me are false and have served only to tarnish my 50 year career.

The fact that the existence of an allegation even became public thwarts the confidential review process that the Academy adopted and is supposed to follow when receiving complaints.

There was a single named complaint regarding an allegation dating back more than a decade ago in which I am alleged to have to attempted to touch a woman inappropriately while we were both riding in a transport van on a movie set. That did not happen.

I have supported women throughout my career and am heartened by the outpouring of support I have received from numerous women with whom I have worked and supported during my career

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.