On Thursday, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced that they’re wiping the greasy stains of Bill Cosby and Roman Polanski off their membership list. They claimed the decision was made because they “require members to uphold the Academy’s values of respect for human dignity.”
Bill Cosby was an obvious choice; last week he was found guilty of sexual assault. And I guess they tacked Roman Polanski on because it’s not a great look to get rid of one convicted rapist and keep someone who pled guilty to statutory rape. Roman could have slunk away quietly back to his European hideout, but he can’t take a hint and plans to appeal the Academy’s decision.
Roman pleaded guilty in 1977 to unlawful sexual intercourse with a 13-year-old girl. After serving 42 days, it seemed like he was going to be sentenced to more time in prison, and that’s when he fled the US for Europe. In December, the LAPD began investigating new allegations against Roman after a woman came forward saying that he asked her to pose in a fur coat and nothing else when she was 10 years old.
Roman’s attorney Harland Braun told Vanity Fair that they will attempt to appeal the decision, because they want due process. Harland believes the Academy didn’t play fair when they yanked Roman’s membership away.
“Mr. Polanski was supposed to be given notice, and have 10 days to present his side. It was a complete debacle in the sense that they didn’t follow their own rules. They short-circuited it all. It’s shocking that they’re so unfair. We’re going to try to sit down with the Academy and say, ‘Hey, look, guys, follow the rules.'”
Such a stickler for the rules all of a sudden! Where was that play-by-the-rules Roman when Los Angeles courts were talking about extending his prison sentence back in 1978? Oh yeah, that’s right – on a one-way flight to England.
It’s taken the Academy a long time to acknowledge the creepy stink wafting off Roman. In 2003, they gave him his first and only Oscar for directing The Pianist. He wasn’t there to accept, for obvious reasons. Vanity Fair contacted the AMPAS regarding Roman’s appeal, but a spokesperson declined to comment.
Harland believes that the appeal “isn’t asking too much of the Academy, is it?” Well yeah, Harland, it kind of is. First of all, it’s not like Roman can be there in person to plead his case. So it’s going to have to be done over Skype. I don’t want to stereotype old people here, but Roman Polanski is 84, and I don’t know many 84-year-olds who can handle Skype. I’m sure it won’t be a total disaster, but let’s be honest – a whole lot of time will be spent staring at his forehead while he asks “Am I uploaded yet?”