Academy board establishes new standards of conduct post-Weinstein

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The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has established new standards of conduct for its members after allegations of sexual misconduct have roiled Hollywood in recent months.

Academy chief executive officer Dawn Hudson sent a letter to its members Wednesday night outlining the standards expected to be upheld by the roughly 8,500 members.

The letter said a special task force was formed to draft the standards.

“Over the course of weeks, the task force consulted with professors of ethics, business, philosophy, and law from Georgetown, Harvard, Notre Dame, and Stanford, as well as experts in human resources and sexual harassment,” the letter said. “We met with our counterparts at the Television Academy and BAFTA, and, for reference, we also reviewed the codes of conduct of other organizations, including AFI, Film Independent, and UCLA.”

The industry has been rocked by scandals that has reverberated beyond Hollywood since October when the New York Times and the New Yorker broke stories that included explosive sexual misconduct allegations against movie producer Harvey Weinstein. Some women have accused him of rape.

Through a spokeswoman, Weinstein has repeatedly denied “any allegations of non-consensual sex.”

Since then, other high profile men, including actor Kevin Spacey, director Brett Ratner and journalists Matt Lauer and Mark Halperin have had sexual misconduct accusations leveled against them.

The two-paragraph statement, which makes up the standards of conduct, was approved by the Academy’s 54-member board of governors in a meeting Tuesday.

It notes that “There is no place in the Academy for people who abuse their status, power or influence in a manner that violates recognized standards of decency.”

“The Academy is categorically opposed to any form of abuse, harassment or discrimination on the basis of gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, disability, age, religion, or nationality,” the statement reads. “If any member is found by the Board of Governors to have violated these standards or to have compromised the integrity of the Academy by their actions, the Board of Governors may take any disciplinary action permitted by the Academy’s bylaws, including suspension or expulsion.”

The board includes such luminaries as Whoopi Goldberg, Laura Dern, Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg.

Weinstein was expelled from the Academy in October, days after his alleged misconduct was made public by the media.