Roman Polanski ‘Blindsided’ by Expulsion From Movie Academy, Plans to Appeal

Earlier this week, the Academy voted to expel both Bill Cosby and Polanski in accordance with the organization’s Standard of Conduct

Roman Polanski
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Roman Polanski felt “blindsided” by the decision of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to expel him, and plans to appeal.

“We plan to ask the Academy to follow its own rules which is to give Roman 10 days notice to present his side,” Polanski’s attorney Harland Braun said in a statement to TheWrap. “We were prepared but were blindsided by their violation of their own standards. What did the 56 members review??”

On Tuesday, the Academy voted to expel Bill Cosby and Polanski in accordance with the organization’s Standard of Conduct.

“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,” read the statement. “The Board continues to encourage ethical standards that require members to uphold the Academy’s values of respect for human dignity.”

Polanski was expelled 15 years after his film “The Pianist” took home Oscars for Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Actor at the 75th Academy Awards. The film was nominated for Best Picture, but lost to “Chicago.”

Polanski was arrested and charged with raping 13-year-old Samantha Geimer in 1977. He pled guilty and was imprisoned for 42 days, after which he was released and put on probation as part of a plea bargain. When Polanski learned that a judge was planning to revoke the plea deal, the director fled Paris before the sentencing.

Cosby has never won an Oscar but he was an Academy member. His film credits include “Hickey & Boggs,” “Uptown Saturday Night,” “Ghost Dad,” “The Meteor Man” and “Jack.”

On Wednesday, Cosby’s name was removed from the website of the Television Academy. The comedian was recently found guilty of three counts of aggravated indecent assault in his retrial over accusations made by former Temple University employee Andrea Constand.

Cosby had maintained that his interaction with Constand was consensual and that he had given her Benadryl in an effort to help her relax.

A spokesperson for Cosby has not yet responded to TheWrap’s request for comment on whether Cosby plans to appeal as well. The Academy has not yet responded to TheWrap’s request for comment.