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Motion picture academy president John Bailey cleared after investigation of sexual harassment claim

Motion picture academy president John Bailey cleared after investigation of sexual harassment claim
Academy president John Bailey at the Oscar nominees luncheon last month. (Jordan Strauss / Invision/AP)

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced Tuesday evening that it was clearing its president, John Bailey, of any wrongdoing after an investigation into an allegation of sexual harassment against him.

On March 13, the academy had received a claim that the 75-year-old veteran cinematographer, who was elected to lead the organization in August, had attempted to inappropriately touch a woman while riding in a transportation van on a movie set more than a decade ago. (Early reports had suggested there were multiple allegations against Bailey, but the academy noted that there was only one.)

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But after an investigation, the results of which were reported to the board of governors on Tuesday, the academy determined that “no further action was merited on this matter.” Bailey, who had denied any wrongdoing in a memo sent to the academy’s staff, will remain president.

“The Membership and Administration Committee and its sub-committee thoroughly reviewed and considered the claim, John Bailey’s response, and corroborating statements from both parties,” the academy said in a statement. “The Academy took the claim very seriously and was cognizant of the rights of both the claimant and the accused, including consulting with outside counsel with expertise in matters related to harassment.”

For the academy, the incident represented both the latest in a string of public-relations crises and the first public test of its newly adopted standards of conduct, which were developed in response to the sexual misconduct scandals that have rocked the entertainment industry since the fall.

In investigating its own president, the academy stated that it had “received advice and counsel from its longstanding General Counsel John Quinn at Quinn Emanuel, as well as from Ivy Kagan Bierman, a partner at Loeb & Loeb who has extensive experience with entertainment industry sexual harassment matters and is currently an advisor to The Commission on Eliminating Sexual Harassment and Promoting Equality in the Workplace, chaired by Anita Hill.”

Even as it exonerated Bailey, the academy reiterated that the group’s goal is to “to encourage workplace environments that support creativity, equality, and respect.”

Read the full statement here:

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced today that it has concluded its review, based on its Standards of Conduct, into the allegation made against Academy President John Bailey. The Membership and Administration Committee and its sub-committee thoroughly reviewed and considered the claim, John Bailey’s response, and corroborating statements from both parties. The Academy took the claim very seriously and was cognizant of the rights of both the claimant and the accused, including consulting with outside counsel with expertise in matters related to harassment.

Contrary to previous reports, there was only one claim under consideration which was received on Tuesday, March 13, 2018.

Throughout the process, the Academy received advice and counsel from its longstanding General Counsel John Quinn at Quinn Emanuel, as well as from Ivy Kagan Bierman, a partner at Loeb & Loeb who has extensive experience with entertainment industry sexual harassment matters and is currently an advisor to The Commission on Eliminating Sexual Harassment and Promoting Equality in the Workplace, chaired by Anita Hill.

The Committee unanimously determined that no further action was merited on this matter. The findings and recommendations of the committee were reported to the Board which endorsed its recommendation. John Bailey remains President of the Academy.

The Academy respects the confidentiality of both the claimant and John Bailey, and will refrain from discussing the specifics regarding the claim.

The Academy’s goal is to encourage workplace environments that support creativity, equality, and respect.

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