The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which awards the Oscars, will hold members to a code of conduct in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein and other prominent figures in the movie industry.
In the months since reports in The New York Times and The New Yorker exposed Weinstein's serial sexual predation, the entertainment industry has grappled with how to respond to the cascade of sexual abuse allegations and underlying systemic issues.
"Much remains to be done", said Hudson in the letter.
"On behalf of the Governors, I want to thank the specially formed task force, led by Governor and Academy Officer David Rubin, whose members dedicated many hours of research and discussion to drafting this document and evaluating future steps", Academy CEO Dawn Hudson wrote in the letter. 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.
She said they met with the Television Academy and the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, and also reviewed the codes of conduct of other organizations, including the American Film Institute and UCLA. This process will ultimately guide the Board of Governors in assessing if certain allegations warrant action regarding membership. Since then, similar allegations have been made against several other Academy members, most notably two-time Oscar victor Kevin Spacey. "Those procedures will be sent to you in the new year".
Academy CEOAcademy membership is a privilege offered to only a select few within the global community of filmmakers.
According to the new guidelines, "members must also behave ethically by upholding the Academy's values of respect for human dignity, inclusion, and a supportive environment that fosters creativity".
It warns that those who "abuse their status, power or influence in a manner that violates" their standard of decency, they could face disciplinary action, including suspension or expulsion. The Board of Governors believes that these standards are essential to the Academy's mission and reflective of our values.