Academy Sets New Standards of Conduct Amid Harvey Weinstein Fallout

Vanity Fair correspondent Rebecca Keegan tweeted a letter reportedly written by the Academy's CEO Dawn Hudson

By Elyse Dupre Dec 07, 2017 4:16 PMTags
Harvey WeinsteinRichard Shotwell/Invision/AP

The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences Board of Governors approved a new Standards of Conduct following a series of sexual misconduct allegations in Hollywood.

Vanity Fair correspondent Rebecca Keegan tweeted a letter written by the Academy's CEO Dawn Hudson. In her Dec. 6 tweet, Keegan said Hudson emailed the letter to members and explained how an appointed task force created the new document.

"Much remains to be done," part of the letter read. "The task force will finalize procedures for handling allegations of misconduct, assuring that we can address them fairly and expeditiously."

According to the letter, the newly established guidelines will help the Academy determine if certain allegations will affect a person's membership status. These procedures are expected to be sent to members in 2018.

In October, the Academy voted to strip Harvey Weinstein of his lifetime membership after allegations of sexual harassment, assault and rape were made against him. His spokesperson previously told E! News that "any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein."

Keegan also tweeted what she claims are the new Standards of Conduct.

"Academy membership is a privilege offered to only a select few within the global community of filmmakers," the tweeted standards read. "In addition to achieving excellence in the field of motion picture arts and sciences, members must also behave ethically by upholding the Academy's values of respect for human dignity, inclusion, and a supportive environment that fosters creativity."

They also state, "The Academy asks that members embrace their responsibility to affirm these principles and act when these principles are violated. 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 Board of Governors believes that these standards are essential to the Academy's mission and reflective of our values."

The tweeted standards conclude with, "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."

According to the tweeted letter, Governor and Academy Officer David Rubin led the appointed task force. Its members "dedicated many hours of research and discussion" to create the new document. Professors of ethics, business, philosophy and law from top universities like Georgetown, Harvard, Notre Dame and Stanford were among the cited professionals consulted for the new standards, as were "experts" in human resources and sexual harassment.

The Oscars organization consulted other media organizations, as well—including the Television Academy, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA). The letter states the Academy also reviewed codes of conduct upheld by the American Film Institute, Film Independent and the University of California, Los Angeles.

"We are articulating these standards with the simple goal of fostering the kind of environment that enables and supports creativity and furthers the Academy's mission," the letter concluded, followed by Hudson's contact information.

View the tweeted letter and standards here:

The news comes approximately three months before the 2018 Oscars. 

Weinstein isn't the only one in Hollywood to face allegations against him. Russell Simmons, Brett Ratner, James Toback, Kevin Spacey, Dustin Hoffman and Ed Westwick have also been accused of sexual misconduct.