Roman Polanski will not appeal Academy expulsion decision, lawyer says

The filmmaker sued the body which oversees the Oscars, alleging he had not been given warning before being kicked out.

Roman Polanski will not appeal a judge’s decision to uphold his expulsion from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, a lawyer for the controversial director has said.

Polanski sued the Academy – the body which oversees the Oscars – after it kicked him out in May 2018, alleging he had not been given warning or a chance to respond.

Polanski fled the United States in 1978, after pleading guilty to the rape of a 13-year-old girl. He won the best director Oscar in 2003.

Roman Polanski
Roman Polanski will not appeal a judge’s ruling that the Academy had a right to expel him (Joel Ryan/PA)

A Los Angeles Superior Court clerk confirmed a judge had denied Polanski’s request to be reinstated to the Academy on Tuesday, ruling the body had a right to expel him.

Harland Braun, the director’s lawyer, told the PA news agency he would not be appealing.

“We were trying to establish justice,” he said. “The membership is actually worthless, but his art and Academy awards endure.”

French-Polish filmmaker Polanski, 87, was booted out of the Academy alongside the disgraced comedian Bill Cosby as Hollywood reacted to the #MeToo movement.

In a statement at the time, the Academy said: “The board continues to encourage ethical standards that require members to uphold the Academy’s values of respect for human dignity.”

Polanski, whose films include Chinatown, Rosemary’s Baby and The Pianist, is one of the most feted directors of his generation, however he remains highly controversial.

For his latest film, An Officer And A Spy, he took home the best director prize at France’s Cesar Awards in February, leading some attendees to walkout of the ceremony in disgust.

The Academy has been contacted for comment.

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