The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, which doles out Oscar awards every year, finally expelled movie director Roman Polanski from its organization — 40 years after he admitted to raping a 13-year-old girl then fled the country. Way to go, Hollywood.
The Academy announced Thursday afternoon that Polanski, along with Bill Cosby — who was convicted of three counts of aggravated indecent assault last week — are no longer welcome in the elite group.
On February 1, 1978, Polanski fled the United States after spending a 42-day stint behind bars because he feared the judge would toss out a plea deal giving him a lighter sentence for pleading guilty to statutory rape.
His accuser, who was 13 years old at the time, said Polanski gave her champagne and a Quaalude during a photoshoot she was modeling in before raping her while she pleaded with him to stop. Polanski has remained primarily in France and in other countries where he would not be extradited to the United States. He remains a fugitive of the law to this day. While he was hiding out in Europe, the Academy awarded Polanski from afar — by awarding him an Oscar in 2003 for his work as the director of “The Pianist.”
Last year, Hollywood was rocked with accusations of rampant sexual assault and sexual harassment when movie mogul Harvey Weinstein was brought to heel for allegedly assaulting, groping, and harassing dozens of women. Weinstein threatened to ruin these women’s careers if they came forward with his behavior.