Academy President John Bailey: Why Kevin Hart Is the Right Choice to Host the Oscars

Kevin Hart is ready for his Oscar close-up. And now the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences president John Bailey tells Variety that he’s “very excited” to see what the funny man will do when he makes his hosting debut next year. “First of all,…

Kevin Hart is ready for his Oscar close-up. And now the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences president John Bailey tells Variety that he’s “very excited” to see what the funny man will do when he makes his hosting debut next year. “First of all, he’s a very kind of warm and loving and […]

10 Things We Learned at the Oscars’ 10th Governors Awards

Since 2009, the Academy has been handing out its Honorary Oscars at the Governors Awards, an annual event designed both to give the honorees a fuller, more lavish presentation and to shorten the Oscar show by moving the honorary awards a night of their own.

Sunday night marked the 10th Governors Awards, with Honorary Oscars handed out to publicist Marvin Levy, film composer Lalo Schifrin and actress Cicely Tyson, and the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award going to producers Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall.

As usual, the event in the Ray Dolby Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland was partly an emotional evening devoted to honor deserving artists, and partly one of the most lavish campaign stops of awards season.

Here’s what we learned:

1. Publicity rules.
At the beginning of the night, Academy President John Bailey mentioned the five honorees, one by one. All received enthusiastic applause – but the biggest hand clearly went to Levy, best known as Steven Spielberg’s longtime publicist.

“Did Marvin get the most applause because there are so many publicists here?” asked one attendee, who happened to be, yep, a publicist.

And that was probably a good guess – because in a room where many of the tables were packed with talent from virtually every Oscar-contending film, lots of PR reps were on hand to facilitate the schmoozing that has become the lifeblood of the Governors Awards.

Also Read: Oscars Won’t Present New Best Popular Film Category in 2019

2. The “Popcorn Oscar” is still the elephant in the room.
In his opening remarks, Bailey talked about the history of the Governors Awards, and the history of the Academy itself. “So many changes over the years,” he said. “Many in the past few years, as you know.”

A pause. “Some have been readily embraced, some challenged.”

The line passed quickly, but it clearly referred to the short-lived plan to introduce a new Oscar for “achievement in popular entertainment,” aka the Popcorn Oscar. The plan was adopted by the Board of Governors on Aug. 7, announced early the next morning, widely criticized by Academy members and Oscar watchers, and canceled on Sept. 6 in order to permit “further discussion.”

3. The Governors Awards might just set a record for the largest amount of Wolfgang Puck food left uneaten.
Here’s the problem: After Bailey’s remarks, the program took an hour-long break for dinner. But when Lady Gaga was over here and Nicole Kidman was over there and Chadwick Boseman was sporting a knee-length red jacket and every large or small movie had a presence in the ballroom, and the people in the room who weren’t affiliated with an Oscar contender were either voters or press – well, nobody really sit and ate.

Instead, you got a dinner break devoted to table hopping, mingling and schmoozing – pretty much everything except eating.

So “Eighth Grade” star Elsie Fisher beamed as she was introduced to Saoirse Ronan, and Timothee Chalamet huddled with Zoe Kazan, and “Roma” director Alfonso Cuaron chatted with “Cold War” director Pawel Pawlikowski, and everybody wanted to meet Oprah Winfrey …

And Kathryn Hahn, in the race this year for her performance in Tamara Jenkins’ “Private Life,” looked around the room and shook her head. “I’ve never been to this before,” she said. “Everybody is here.”

Meanwhile, Wolfgang Puck’s braised short rib and hearts of palm went uneaten on many a plate – though “Green Book” star Viggo Mortensen, for one, actually tried to eat before being pulled away by well-wishers.

And when the dinner break ended, Tom Hanks took the stage and put it all in perspective. “It’s nice to be part of the famous people’s club,” he said, “where we pretend to know each other and to have seen each other’s work.”

Also Read: ‘Green Book’ Film Review: Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali Take a Perilous Road Trip Through the Deep South

4. It pays to leave the Board of Governors.
Two of this year’s honorees, Levy and Kennedy, were longtime members of the Academy’s Board of Governors. But AMPAS rules say that you can’t give a Governors Award to a sitting governor, so their recent exits from the board cleared the way for their awards.

Kennedy’s case was particularly noteworthy, because she is the most high profile in a number of longstanding members of the board who have opted to leave in recent years. While producer Bill Mechanic made the flashiest departure, with a scathing letter to Academy president John Bailey that slammed AMPAS management, Kennedy had spent years not only as a board member but as an officer.

It was understood that the job of Academy president was hers for the asking – but instead of seeking another term on the board during a tumultuous time for the Academy, she opted not to run for re-election this year.

And that meant they could vote her the Thalberg.

5. It also pays to be close to Steven Spielberg.
Spielberg isn’t on the board anymore, either, but his shadow hung over the Governors Awards. Levy, who first worked with the director when he was the only member of the Columbia Pictures marketing team who liked Spielberg’s proposed poster for “Close Encounters of the Third King,” is his longtime publicist. Marshall has produced 10 of Spielberg’s films, Kennedy more than that.

So at the end of the show, it made perfect sense that it was Spielberg onstage handing out the last award.

Also Read: Ansel Elgort to Play Tony in Steven Spielberg’s ‘West Side Story’ Remake

6. A TV theme song trumps everything else Lalo Schifrin wrote.
The Argentinian composer has a long history of classic film scores, including “Cool Hand Luke,” “Bullitt,” “Dirty Harry” and many more. And you have to figure that the board voted him his Honorary Oscar for his film scores, right?

Right, except that Schifrin’s most famous composition, and one that figured prominently in his Governors Award presentation, is the 90-second theme he wrote for the 1960s television show “Mission: Impossible.”

It ended the film package paying tribute to Schifrin’s work, and it was also the first joke in presenter Kathy Bates’ introduction to the portion of the show devoted to him – although she sort of pretended that it was movie music.

“Let’s be honest,” Bates said. “Without the cool ‘Mission: Impossible’ theme, I’m betting Tom Cruise fails in his mission the first time, which means no next five sequels.”

7. 88 + 86 = entertainment.
After Bates’ speech and the film clips, the award to Schifrin was presented by Clint Eastwood. The actor-director, who is 88, and began his presentation by saying he can’t see the TelePrompTer anymore and just wanted to ask Schifrin some questions. So Schifrin, 86 and not exactly spry, slowly and painstakingly making his way to the stage, where the two men tried to figure out how many movies they’d made together.

“Besides ‘Inspector Callahan,’ ‘Dirty Harry’ and the sequels, we did two or three more,” mused Schifrin, who couldn’t remember what those others were. Then Eastwood rambled a bit about Schifrin not being able to sell records in his native Argentina. Schifrin said was because of a law that outlawed the sale of “immoral” recordings. Then he added, “and they thought jazz was immoral.” To which Eastwood replied, “Well, it kind of is.”

Finally, Schifrin, realizing it was probably time for him to give his acceptance speech, cut short his presenter’s entertaining ramblings. “It was nice talking to you,” he said to Eastwood, who (mostly) retreated out of microphone range and let the Oscar winner speak.

Also Read: Watch a Ruined Clint Eastwood Smuggle Cocaine in ‘The Mule’ Trailer (Video)

8. Cicely Tyson is a queen.
Tyler Perry said exactly that at the beginning of his speech during the presentation of an Honorary Oscar to Tyson: “For those of you who don’t know, African Americans hold Cicely Tyson in such high esteem, she is a queen to us.”

Quincy Jones reinforced that notion in his speech, as did Ava DuVernay in hers -which began when she mentioned that she’d asked a number of prominent African American women to describe Tyson in one word, and Oprah Winfrey offered the word regal.

And the 93-year-old Tyson, even as she described her reaction on learning of the award (“I just cried and cried – I couldn’t even say ‘thank you’”), was eloquent, emotional and every inch the queen that Perry had described.

9. Spielberg once caught Kennedy and Marshall making out on his couch.
Spielberg presented the Irving Thalberg Award to the married producing team of Kennedy and Marshall and described how they’d met when he first hired Kennedy as his secretary, quickly promoted her (“she went from taking notes to taking over”), then brought in Marshall to serve as line producer on “Raiders of the Lost Ark.”

“We made movie after movie together,” he said. “Until one day I walked into my office and saw them making out on my couch … I knew I was the third wheel.”

The anecdote got one of the biggest laughs of the night – and when Kennedy came to the microphone to accept her award a few minutes later, she began her speech with a sheepish, “I’m not sure I’m gonna recover from the couch story.”

Also Read: Kathleen Kennedy Re-Ups With Lucasfilm for 3 More Years

10. Change is still in the air.
It was a night of relatively few political speeches, a night mostly devoid of the kind of promises of diversity or inclusion that have been heard at previous Governors Awards. But the awards themselves spoke to a certain amount of inclusion: Levy is the first publicist ever given an Oscar; Schifrin only the third composer to win an honorary award, after Alex North in 1985 and Ennio Morricone in 2006; and most notably, Kennedy is the first woman to ever receive the Thalberg Award.

“I’m proud to be the first woman to accept this award” she said, prompting a standing ovation, “but I’m not the first to deserve it, and I’m 100 percent sure I’m not the last.”

And then she moved on to a larger theme. “We all know there are changes in our industry that must be enacted,” she said. “As our industry grows and changes, who gets to tell their stories needs to grow and change as well. Each of us has the obligation to ensure that everyone who has a story to tell has the same opportunity that most of us have had.

“With the inclusion of these powerful new voices, we might just bring the world back to its senses – and maybe just maybe, shatter a few glass ceilings along the way.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

‘RBG’ and ‘Won’t You Be My Neighbor?’ Among 166 Documentaries Submitted for Oscars

Donna Gigliotti, Glenn Weiss Set as 2019 Oscars Producers

Oscars Give More Power in Foreign Language Voting to LA Members (Exclusive)

Since 2009, the Academy has been handing out its Honorary Oscars at the Governors Awards, an annual event designed both to give the honorees a fuller, more lavish presentation and to shorten the Oscar show by moving the honorary awards a night of their own.

Sunday night marked the 10th Governors Awards, with Honorary Oscars handed out to publicist Marvin Levy, film composer Lalo Schifrin and actress Cicely Tyson, and the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award going to producers Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall.

As usual, the event in the Ray Dolby Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland was partly an emotional evening devoted to honor deserving artists, and partly one of the most lavish campaign stops of awards season.

Here’s what we learned:

1. Publicity rules.
At the beginning of the night, Academy President John Bailey mentioned the five honorees, one by one. All received enthusiastic applause – but the biggest hand clearly went to Levy, best known as Steven Spielberg’s longtime publicist.

“Did Marvin get the most applause because there are so many publicists here?” asked one attendee, who happened to be, yep, a publicist.

And that was probably a good guess – because in a room where many of the tables were packed with talent from virtually every Oscar-contending film, lots of PR reps were on hand to facilitate the schmoozing that has become the lifeblood of the Governors Awards.

2. The “Popcorn Oscar” is still the elephant in the room.
In his opening remarks, Bailey talked about the history of the Governors Awards, and the history of the Academy itself. “So many changes over the years,” he said. “Many in the past few years, as you know.”

A pause. “Some have been readily embraced, some challenged.”

The line passed quickly, but it clearly referred to the short-lived plan to introduce a new Oscar for “achievement in popular entertainment,” aka the Popcorn Oscar. The plan was adopted by the Board of Governors on Aug. 7, announced early the next morning, widely criticized by Academy members and Oscar watchers, and canceled on Sept. 6 in order to permit “further discussion.”

3. The Governors Awards might just set a record for the largest amount of Wolfgang Puck food left uneaten.
Here’s the problem: After Bailey’s remarks, the program took an hour-long break for dinner. But when Lady Gaga was over here and Nicole Kidman was over there and Chadwick Boseman was sporting a knee-length red jacket and every large or small movie had a presence in the ballroom, and the people in the room who weren’t affiliated with an Oscar contender were either voters or press – well, nobody really sit and ate.

Instead, you got a dinner break devoted to table hopping, mingling and schmoozing – pretty much everything except eating.

So “Eighth Grade” star Elsie Fisher beamed as she was introduced to Saoirse Ronan, and Timothee Chalamet huddled with Zoe Kazan, and “Roma” director Alfonso Cuaron chatted with “Cold War” director Pawel Pawlikowski, and everybody wanted to meet Oprah Winfrey …

And Kathryn Hahn, in the race this year for her performance in Tamara Jenkins’ “Private Life,” looked around the room and shook her head. “I’ve never been to this before,” she said. “Everybody is here.”

Meanwhile, Wolfgang Puck’s braised short rib and hearts of palm went uneaten on many a plate – though “Green Book” star Viggo Mortensen, for one, actually tried to eat before being pulled away by well-wishers.

And when the dinner break ended, Tom Hanks took the stage and put it all in perspective. “It’s nice to be part of the famous people’s club,” he said, “where we pretend to know each other and to have seen each other’s work.”

4. It pays to leave the Board of Governors.
Two of this year’s honorees, Levy and Kennedy, were longtime members of the Academy’s Board of Governors. But AMPAS rules say that you can’t give a Governors Award to a sitting governor, so their recent exits from the board cleared the way for their awards.

Kennedy’s case was particularly noteworthy, because she is the most high profile in a number of longstanding members of the board who have opted to leave in recent years. While producer Bill Mechanic made the flashiest departure, with a scathing letter to Academy president John Bailey that slammed AMPAS management, Kennedy had spent years not only as a board member but as an officer.

It was understood that the job of Academy president was hers for the asking – but instead of seeking another term on the board during a tumultuous time for the Academy, she opted not to run for re-election this year.

And that meant they could vote her the Thalberg.

5. It also pays to be close to Steven Spielberg.
Spielberg isn’t on the board anymore, either, but his shadow hung over the Governors Awards. Levy, who first worked with the director when he was the only member of the Columbia Pictures marketing team who liked Spielberg’s proposed poster for “Close Encounters of the Third King,” is his longtime publicist. Marshall has produced 10 of Spielberg’s films, Kennedy more than that.

So at the end of the show, it made perfect sense that it was Spielberg onstage handing out the last award.

6. A TV theme song trumps everything else Lalo Schifrin wrote.
The Argentinian composer has a long history of classic film scores, including “Cool Hand Luke,” “Bullitt,” “Dirty Harry” and many more. And you have to figure that the board voted him his Honorary Oscar for his film scores, right?

Right, except that Schifrin’s most famous composition, and one that figured prominently in his Governors Award presentation, is the 90-second theme he wrote for the 1960s television show “Mission: Impossible.”

It ended the film package paying tribute to Schifrin’s work, and it was also the first joke in presenter Kathy Bates’ introduction to the portion of the show devoted to him – although she sort of pretended that it was movie music.

“Let’s be honest,” Bates said. “Without the cool ‘Mission: Impossible’ theme, I’m betting Tom Cruise fails in his mission the first time, which means no next five sequels.”

7. 88 + 86 = entertainment.
After Bates’ speech and the film clips, the award to Schifrin was presented by Clint Eastwood. The actor-director, who is 88, and began his presentation by saying he can’t see the TelePrompTer anymore and just wanted to ask Schifrin some questions. So Schifrin, 86 and not exactly spry, slowly and painstakingly making his way to the stage, where the two men tried to figure out how many movies they’d made together.

“Besides ‘Inspector Callahan,’ ‘Dirty Harry’ and the sequels, we did two or three more,” mused Schifrin, who couldn’t remember what those others were. Then Eastwood rambled a bit about Schifrin not being able to sell records in his native Argentina. Schifrin said was because of a law that outlawed the sale of “immoral” recordings. Then he added, “and they thought jazz was immoral.” To which Eastwood replied, “Well, it kind of is.”

Finally, Schifrin, realizing it was probably time for him to give his acceptance speech, cut short his presenter’s entertaining ramblings. “It was nice talking to you,” he said to Eastwood, who (mostly) retreated out of microphone range and let the Oscar winner speak.

8. Cicely Tyson is a queen.
Tyler Perry said exactly that at the beginning of his speech during the presentation of an Honorary Oscar to Tyson: “For those of you who don’t know, African Americans hold Cicely Tyson in such high esteem, she is a queen to us.”

Quincy Jones reinforced that notion in his speech, as did Ava DuVernay in hers -which began when she mentioned that she’d asked a number of prominent African American women to describe Tyson in one word, and Oprah Winfrey offered the word regal.

And the 93-year-old Tyson, even as she described her reaction on learning of the award (“I just cried and cried – I couldn’t even say ‘thank you'”), was eloquent, emotional and every inch the queen that Perry had described.

9. Spielberg once caught Kennedy and Marshall making out on his couch.
Spielberg presented the Irving Thalberg Award to the married producing team of Kennedy and Marshall and described how they’d met when he first hired Kennedy as his secretary, quickly promoted her (“she went from taking notes to taking over”), then brought in Marshall to serve as line producer on “Raiders of the Lost Ark.”

“We made movie after movie together,” he said. “Until one day I walked into my office and saw them making out on my couch … I knew I was the third wheel.”

The anecdote got one of the biggest laughs of the night – and when Kennedy came to the microphone to accept her award a few minutes later, she began her speech with a sheepish, “I’m not sure I’m gonna recover from the couch story.”

10. Change is still in the air.
It was a night of relatively few political speeches, a night mostly devoid of the kind of promises of diversity or inclusion that have been heard at previous Governors Awards. But the awards themselves spoke to a certain amount of inclusion: Levy is the first publicist ever given an Oscar; Schifrin only the third composer to win an honorary award, after Alex North in 1985 and Ennio Morricone in 2006; and most notably, Kennedy is the first woman to ever receive the Thalberg Award.

“I’m proud to be the first woman to accept this award” she said, prompting a standing ovation, “but I’m not the first to deserve it, and I’m 100 percent sure I’m not the last.”

And then she moved on to a larger theme. “We all know there are changes in our industry that must be enacted,” she said. “As our industry grows and changes, who gets to tell their stories needs to grow and change as well. Each of us has the obligation to ensure that everyone who has a story to tell has the same opportunity that most of us have had.

“With the inclusion of these powerful new voices, we might just bring the world back to its senses – and maybe just maybe, shatter a few glass ceilings along the way.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

'RBG' and 'Won't You Be My Neighbor?' Among 166 Documentaries Submitted for Oscars

Donna Gigliotti, Glenn Weiss Set as 2019 Oscars Producers

Oscars Give More Power in Foreign Language Voting to LA Members (Exclusive)

Popular Film Award Is Not Dead, Says Academy President John Bailey

Will the Motion Picture Academy resurrect the idea of outstanding achievement in popular film? Will audience fragmentation continue to drive a wedge between films that are widely distributed and films that win Oscars? Will the Academy ever be able to h…

Will the Motion Picture Academy resurrect the idea of outstanding achievement in popular film? Will audience fragmentation continue to drive a wedge between films that are widely distributed and films that win Oscars? Will the Academy ever be able to halt the declining ratings of the Oscars broadcast? These and other issues took center stage […]

Choice Of Sharp New Oscar Producing Team Gives The Academy A Chance For Serious & Successful Makeover: Analysis

Well, the mystery of who gets the enviable — or unenviable — job of producing the 91st annual Academy Awards, airing February 24 on ABC,  has been answered. And in choosing Oscar winner and multiple nominee Donna Gigliotti  as producer,  an…

Well, the mystery of who gets the enviable — or unenviable — job of producing the 91st annual Academy Awards, airing February 24 on ABC,  has been answered. And in choosing Oscar winner and multiple nominee Donna Gigliotti  as producer,  and live TV and awards show veteran Glenn Weiss as “co-producer,” as well as director for the fourth consecutive year, it looks to me like  Academy President John Bailey and CEO Dawn Hudson have assembled a strong team that should be…

Jennifer Fox to Produce Oscars Academy’s 2018 Governors Awards

Oscar-nominated producer Jennifer Fox is set to produce the 2018 Governors Awards, Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences president John Bailey announced Wednesday.

Honorary Awards for the 10th Annual Governors Awards will be presented to publicist Martin Levy, actress Cicely Tyson, composer Lalo Shifrin and producers Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall. The ceremony will take place on Nov. 18 at the Ray Dolby Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland Center in Los Angeles.

“This 10th anniversary of the Governors Awards highlights five diverse artists whose contributions to American cinema endure through changing time and fashion.  Jennifer is the perfect choice to help us pay tribute to this year’s honorees,” said Bailey.

Also Read: Academy Adds ‘Popular Film’ Award, Vows to Shorten Oscars

“The Governors Awards have such a special significance in our industry, because that night is our way of paying tribute to the legends of Hollywood. I’m truly honored to be part of this year’s ceremony,” added Fox.

Fox’s credits include Tony Gilroy’s directorial debut “Michael Clayton,” which earned seven Oscar nominations, as well as “Erin Brockovich,” “Good Night, and Good Luck,” “The Bourne Legacy,” “Nightcrawler” and “Roman J. Israel, Esq.”

Also Read: Oscars Give More Power in Foreign Language Voting to LA Members (Exclusive)

She recently wrapped principal photography on two films: “Velvet Buzzsaw” and “The Torture Report,” both set to open next year.

Related stories from TheWrap:

‘Roma,’ ‘Cold War’ Lead Academy’s List of 87 Films in the Oscars Foreign Language Race

Academy Makes More Changes to Open Up Oscars Foreign Language Voting (Exclusive)

Penélope Cruz, Javier Bardem Film ‘Everybody Knows’ to Open in Time for Oscars

Oscar-nominated producer Jennifer Fox is set to produce the 2018 Governors Awards, Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences president John Bailey announced Wednesday.

Honorary Awards for the 10th Annual Governors Awards will be presented to publicist Martin Levy, actress Cicely Tyson, composer Lalo Shifrin and producers Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall. The ceremony will take place on Nov. 18 at the Ray Dolby Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland Center in Los Angeles.

“This 10th anniversary of the Governors Awards highlights five diverse artists whose contributions to American cinema endure through changing time and fashion.  Jennifer is the perfect choice to help us pay tribute to this year’s honorees,” said Bailey.

“The Governors Awards have such a special significance in our industry, because that night is our way of paying tribute to the legends of Hollywood. I’m truly honored to be part of this year’s ceremony,” added Fox.

Fox’s credits include Tony Gilroy’s directorial debut “Michael Clayton,” which earned seven Oscar nominations, as well as “Erin Brockovich,” “Good Night, and Good Luck,” “The Bourne Legacy,” “Nightcrawler” and “Roman J. Israel, Esq.”

She recently wrapped principal photography on two films: “Velvet Buzzsaw” and “The Torture Report,” both set to open next year.

Related stories from TheWrap:

'Roma,' 'Cold War' Lead Academy's List of 87 Films in the Oscars Foreign Language Race

Academy Makes More Changes to Open Up Oscars Foreign Language Voting (Exclusive)

Penélope Cruz, Javier Bardem Film 'Everybody Knows' to Open in Time for Oscars

Tipping Point Or Turning Point? The Next Oscar Producer Will Tell

Pity the next Oscar producer(s), if and when the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences gets around to deciding who’s in charge of the 91st Academy Awards ceremony on February 24. He, she or they will inherit a show that is either at a turni…

Pity the next Oscar producer(s), if and when the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences gets around to deciding who’s in charge of the 91st Academy Awards ceremony on February 24. He, she or they will inherit a show that is either at a turning point or at a tipping point — coming back from the brink, or going down the tubes. And the producer, who customarily has a very large part in the choice of a host, will be celebrated or condemned on February 25 for having saved…

John Bailey Talks Oscar Show Plans, Popular Movie Category Postponement, Academy Museum – Toronto Film Festival

After two marathon back to back Board of Governors meetings last Tuesday night and Wednesday morning (one to choose 2018 Governors Awards honorees and the other in which it was decided to “postpone” the recently announced Popular Movie cate…

After two marathon back to back Board of Governors meetings last Tuesday night and Wednesday morning (one to choose 2018 Governors Awards honorees and the other in which it was decided to “postpone” the recently announced Popular Movie category), Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President John Bailey made his way to the Toronto Film Festivalm where the fest and the Academy hosted a reception promoting the upcoming Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. Two Baileys…

How the Academy Fumbled the Push for Best Popular Film

President John Bailey and CEO Dawn Hudson haven’t given up on the controversial category, which Bailey said is meant for “all kinds of films.”

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Board of Governors is a collection of three high-profile leaders from each of 17 branches, plus three more minority reps, president John Bailey, and Academy CEO Dawn Hudson. Put 54 voices in a room, and you’re bound to be herding cats.

Bailey is a 76-year-old cinematographer (“Ordinary People”) who is used to walking onto a set with authority, commanding his troops, and deferring to one person: the director. Getting an unwieldy group to come to a consensus proved a challenge. He pushed for the new Best Popular Film category that, he said, had nothing to do with Oscar-night ratings. He insisted on that point in a September 6 phone interview, the day the Academy announced it would postpone implementing the new category and continue trying to define what exactly it could be.

The best way to get this new category across would have been to define it from the get-go. Knowing what they were talking about would allow Academy members to debate its merits. With only speculation to draw on, this vague announcement went south, fast. Some suggested ABC and Marvel owner Disney orchestrated it to benefit “Black Panther.” Others accused the Academy of shunting the popular Ryan Coogler film into a lesser category.

Hudson and Bailey stepped back and waited out the storm until they figured out what they were doing. “We heard a lot from our members,” said Hudson. “A lot of them understood that the intention of the award was to honor excellence across a wider scope of filmmaking. That intention wasn’t clear in our announcement. I understand people began to speculate that it was something else. We wanted to go back. We want to make sure we get this right and achieve what we set out to achieve in the first place, which was to organically honor a wider spectrum of films.”

Academy governors Carol Littleton and Gregory Nava flank John Bailey in Telluride.

Pamela Gentile

At Labor Day Weekend’s Telluride Film Festival, where the Academy throws an annual party, Bailey, Hudson, Kimberly Peirce, Sid Ganis, Gregory Nava and other board members — as well as  former board-member Kathleen Kennedy, who will accept the Irving Thalberg award at the Governors Awards this November — engaged in many conversations about how to define Best Popular Film. They didn’t see a clear path to solving the divisive issue, and so it was no surprise that the board backed away from it in its September 5 meeting.

For his part, Bailey still likes this category, and sees no problem with it. But “the majority of the board made that decision,” he said, acknowledging the intense blowback. But mainly, said Bailey, “it was still not having defined a consensus point on what the terms were, the qualifications. Fifty-four governors, all of whom are high profile, involved in productions, it was hard to get a full amount of information regarding how the award might be defined or presented. The discussion and the narrative of the award kept shifting as well. It was a double moving entity and the board just felt it needed to be more clarified and defined.”

Bailey gets hot under the collar about the need to accept change for the Academy. “The concept of these awards is not an iconic ritual enacted year after year in the same way,” he said. “The history of the Academy and this award is a constantly moving entity, awards have been added and dropped, branches have been added and dropped. It’s a living entity, as is the entire concept of any art form, especially motion pictures, by virtue of being so technologically defined.”

He said the category was not necessarily meant to honor the studio blockbusters. “All kinds of films, for the last number of years, have fallen out of high visibility. For Academy consideration, so many small, wonderful films are not the films most audiences are going to see. There’s been a disconnect that has evolved in the way studios decided to make movies or not make movies. To focus on this new award as if it is somehow oriented primarily toward big-action films, it might be a part of it, but it’s about films that have not been recognized, not been seen by people. The last three Academy award-winners were not films large numbers of people were going to see, which is unfortunate. They should have been seen the same way by the same numbers of people that go to see ‘Star Wars’ or ‘Black Panther.'”

That said, all three of those winners — “Spotlight,” “Moonlight,” and “The Shape of Water” — received huge boosts in attendance from winning Best Picture. That’s one of the major benefits of winning this icon of excellence.

Hudson and Bailey aren’t giving up on the Best Popular Film Oscar. “It isn’t the idea so much as they way they communicated it,” said one publicist. Many would agree, although there are many who do see it as a ratings grab at the expense of the Oscars’ primary goal: to celebrate the best in motion-picture achievement. Many are hoping the Popular Film award just goes away.

“We’ve had ongoing meetings and conversations with our members, studios, and filmmakers,” said Hudson. “And announcing this new award nine months into the awards year was more problematic for a lot of people. It posed more difficulties.”

One thing most Academy members agree on is pushing the 2020 date up to February 9, the earliest ever, and shortening the show to three hours, editing down many of the crafts acceptances taped live during the commercial breaks, rotating the ones who get to accept live each year. “The award season is so long, it’s fatiguing,” said Hudson.

Cicely Tyson, Kathleen Kennedy Among 2018 Honorary Oscar Winners

Legendary actress Cecily Tyson and Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy are among this year’s Honorary Oscar winners, the film academy announced Wednesday.

Tyson (“Fried Green Tomatoes,” “The Help”), who is 93, will receive the AMPAS prize along with publicist Marvin Levy and composer Lalo Schifrin.  Prolific film producers and husband-and-wife team Kennedy and Frank Marshall will receive the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award.

For the 10th year, the Academy governors will hold the honorary ceremony prior to the official Oscars telecast, this year on Nov. 18 at Hollywood and Highland’s Dolby Ballroom.

Also Read: Will Oscar Season’s Early Contenders Survive the Toronto Film Festival Onslaught?

The award, an Oscar statuette, is given “to honor extraordinary distinction in lifetime achievement, exceptional contributions to the state of motion picture arts and sciences, or for outstanding service to the Academy,” an announcement said.

The Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award, which is not an Oscar statue but a bust of the motion picture executive, is presented to creative producers “whose body of work reflects a consistently high quality of motion picture production.”

Read career highlights for this year’s honorees:

Levy began his career in publicity working for MGM in New York City before joining Columbia Pictures in Hollywood, where he guided the advertising for films including “The Deep” and “Kramer vs. Kramer.” His work for the 1977 film “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” marked the beginning of a four-decade-long partnership with Steven Spielberg. Levy has held positions at Amblin Entertainment, DreamWorks Studios and Amblin Partners, and has worked on publicity campaigns for such films as “E.T. The Extra Terrestrial,” “Back to the Future,” “Who Framed Roger Rabbit,” “Schindler’s List,” “Saving Private Ryan,” “American Beauty,” “Gladiator” and “Lincoln.” Levy is the first publicist to receive an honorary Oscar.

Born and raised in Argentina, Schifrin studied classical music and jazz in France before beginning to compose for film in Buenos Aires in the mid-1950s. He has written scores for more than 100 films, including “The Cincinnati Kid,” “Bullitt,” “Dirty Harry,” “Enter the Dragon” and “Rush Hour.” His memorable theme for the television series “Mission: Impossible” has been a hallmark of the recent film series. He has received six Oscar® nominations, for the original scores for “Cool Hand Luke” (1967), “The Fox” (1968), “Voyage of the Damned” (1976) and “The Amityville Horror” (1979), the original song “People Alone” from “The Competition” (1980) and the adaptation score for “The Sting II” (1983).

Raised in Harlem, Tyson began her career as a model and a theater actress, appearing both on Broadway and Off-Broadway. After playing small roles in feature films and television, she was cast as Portia in “The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter” in 1968. Four years later, she received an Academy Award® nomination for her leading performance in “Sounder.” Her other notable film credits include “The River Niger,” “Fried Green Tomatoes,” “Diary of a Mad Black Woman,” “The Help,” “Alex Cross” and “Last Flag Flying.”

The Kennedy/Marshall producing partnership, formed in 1991, has generated Best Picture nominations for “The Sixth Sense” (1999), “Seabiscuit” (2003), “Munich” (2005) and “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (2008). Kennedy/Marshall Company productions also include “Congo,” all five “Bourne” films, and “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.” Prior to forming Kennedy/Marshall, the duo co-founded Amblin Productions with Steven Spielberg, sharing a Best Picture nomination for “The Color Purple” (1985). Additionally, Marshall received a Best Picture nomination for “Raiders of the Lost Ark” (1981), while Kennedy was nominated in the same category for “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial” (1982), “War Horse” (2011) and “Lincoln” (2012). Kennedy is the first woman to receive the Thalberg Award.

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Legendary actress Cecily Tyson and Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy are among this year’s Honorary Oscar winners, the film academy announced Wednesday.

Tyson (“Fried Green Tomatoes,” “The Help”), who is 93, will receive the AMPAS prize along with publicist Marvin Levy and composer Lalo Schifrin.  Prolific film producers and husband-and-wife team Kennedy and Frank Marshall will receive the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award.

For the 10th year, the Academy governors will hold the honorary ceremony prior to the official Oscars telecast, this year on Nov. 18 at Hollywood and Highland’s Dolby Ballroom.

The award, an Oscar statuette, is given “to honor extraordinary distinction in lifetime achievement, exceptional contributions to the state of motion picture arts and sciences, or for outstanding service to the Academy,” an announcement said.

The Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award, which is not an Oscar statue but a bust of the motion picture executive, is presented to creative producers “whose body of work reflects a consistently high quality of motion picture production.”

Read career highlights for this year’s honorees:

Levy began his career in publicity working for MGM in New York City before joining Columbia Pictures in Hollywood, where he guided the advertising for films including “The Deep” and “Kramer vs. Kramer.” His work for the 1977 film “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” marked the beginning of a four-decade-long partnership with Steven Spielberg. Levy has held positions at Amblin Entertainment, DreamWorks Studios and Amblin Partners, and has worked on publicity campaigns for such films as “E.T. The Extra Terrestrial,” “Back to the Future,” “Who Framed Roger Rabbit,” “Schindler’s List,” “Saving Private Ryan,” “American Beauty,” “Gladiator” and “Lincoln.” Levy is the first publicist to receive an honorary Oscar.

Born and raised in Argentina, Schifrin studied classical music and jazz in France before beginning to compose for film in Buenos Aires in the mid-1950s. He has written scores for more than 100 films, including “The Cincinnati Kid,” “Bullitt,” “Dirty Harry,” “Enter the Dragon” and “Rush Hour.” His memorable theme for the television series “Mission: Impossible” has been a hallmark of the recent film series. He has received six Oscar® nominations, for the original scores for “Cool Hand Luke” (1967), “The Fox” (1968), “Voyage of the Damned” (1976) and “The Amityville Horror” (1979), the original song “People Alone” from “The Competition” (1980) and the adaptation score for “The Sting II” (1983).

Raised in Harlem, Tyson began her career as a model and a theater actress, appearing both on Broadway and Off-Broadway. After playing small roles in feature films and television, she was cast as Portia in “The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter” in 1968. Four years later, she received an Academy Award® nomination for her leading performance in “Sounder.” Her other notable film credits include “The River Niger,” “Fried Green Tomatoes,” “Diary of a Mad Black Woman,” “The Help,” “Alex Cross” and “Last Flag Flying.”

The Kennedy/Marshall producing partnership, formed in 1991, has generated Best Picture nominations for “The Sixth Sense” (1999), “Seabiscuit” (2003), “Munich” (2005) and “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (2008). Kennedy/Marshall Company productions also include “Congo,” all five “Bourne” films, and “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.” Prior to forming Kennedy/Marshall, the duo co-founded Amblin Productions with Steven Spielberg, sharing a Best Picture nomination for “The Color Purple” (1985). Additionally, Marshall received a Best Picture nomination for “Raiders of the Lost Ark” (1981), while Kennedy was nominated in the same category for “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial” (1982), “War Horse” (2011) and “Lincoln” (2012). Kennedy is the first woman to receive the Thalberg Award.

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Larry Karaszewski and Diane Weyermann to Replace Mark Johnson as Oscars Foreign-Language Heads (Exclusive)

Craig Zadan, Emmy-Nominated Oscars Producer, Dies at 69

3-Fold Emmy Nominee Robert Dickinson on How the Oscars, Grammys and Tonys Differ

Will Les Moonves Hang On? Here’s Who Did and Didn’t Keep Their Jobs After #MeToo Accusations (Chart)

Friday marks three weeks since six women accused CBS CEO Leslie Moonves of sexual misconduct in a New Yorker story. But unlike many of the men accused since the start of the #MeToo movement last year, Moonves has held on to his job so far.

What happens next for Moonves depends on a CBS investigation being conducted by two outside law firms. But as our list below shows, losing his job is neither a certainty nor an impossibility. The #MeToo movement that began with the October 2017 accusations against Harvey Weinstein has toppled some of the most powerful men in America, from Charlie Rose to Sen. Al Franken. Others have held on despite serious accusations against them.

Here is a list of a few of the most high-profile men who have been accused of sexual misconduct over the past 10 months, followed by more detail about each case.

Lost All Jobs

Louis C.K.

Five women accused comedian Louis C.K. of exposing himself and masturbating in front of them more than a decade ago.

“These stories are true,” C.K. said in response. “The power I had over these women is that they admired me. And I wielded that power irresponsibly.”

HBO, Netflix, and FX severed their ties With C.K. The release of his then-upcoming film, “I Love You, Daddy,” was canceled. In January, TBS announced it would not go forward with C.K.’s animated comedy “The Cops.”

Al Franken

Former Minnesota Sen. Al Franken was accused by eight women of unwanted kissing and groping. Franken issued several statements apologizing in some instances and saying that he did not recall specific details surrounding other accusations. He resigned from the U.S. Senate on Jan. 2.

 

Also Read: Casey Affleck: ‘Trying to Find My Own Culpability’ After #MeToo

Matt Lauer

Several women accused “Today” co-host Matt Lauer of sexual misconduct. They included three women who said he made sexual advances, a woman who said she had a consensual sexual relationship with Matt Lauer, which she described as an “abuse of power” and another woman who said she passed out as Lauer assaulted her.

Soon after the first accusations came to light, Lauer issued a statement expressing “sorrow” and “regret.” In April, Lauer issued another statement saying: “Any allegations or reports of coercive, aggressive or abusive actions on my part, at any time, are absolutely false.”

Lauer was fired from NBC in November. 

Brett Ratner

Six women accused director Brett Ranter of sexual misconduct, including harassment, groping and forced oral sex in a Nov. 1, 2017 Los Angeles Times story. Four more women accused him off sexual misconduct in a subsequent L.A. Times story, which said two women accused Ratner of working with Russell Simmons to harass or assault them. Variety reported last November that Beverly Hills police had investigated Ratner and music exec Russell Simmons in 2001 after a woman filed a report alleging that she was a victim of sexual battery. The district attorney’s office declined to file criminal charges due to “insufficient evidence.”

Ratner denied the accusations. He later sued one woman, accusing her of libeling him by accusing him of rape.

Ratner was dropped by Warner Bros., Playboy announced it was putting his Hugh Hefner biopic on hold and liquor giant Diageo discontinued Ratner’s Hilhaven Lodge whiskey.

Charlie Rose

Thirty-five women accused longtime journalist Charlie Rose of sexual misconduct, including obscene phone calls, groping and exposing himself. Rose has apologized for any “inappropriate behavior” but denied the accuracy of the allegations. On Nov. 21, CBS News, PBS and Bloomberg cut ties with Rose.

Also Read: #MeToo Blowback Over the Winds of Change in Hollywood

Russell Simmons

More than a dozen women have accused music mogul Russell Simmons of sexual misconduct, including rape. Simmons has denied the accusations. In November, Simmons stepped down from his companies. Soon after, HBO announced that it was removing his name from “all Def Comedy” shows. In January, Oprah Winfrey said she was deleting Simmons from her new self-help book.

Kevin Spacey

More than 30 men accused Kevin Spacey of sexual of sexual misconduct, including actor Anthony Rapp, who said Spacey made a sexual advance on him when he was 14.

Spacey said he did not “remember the encounter,” and came out as gay. A representative later said Spacey was taking “the time necessary to seek evaluation and treatment.”

In November, Netflix fired Spacey from his hit series “House of Cards.” The streaming service also scrapped his Gore Vidal biopic. Spacey was also cut from Ridley Scott’s “All the Money in the World,” and replaced with Christopher Plummer. In February, Spacey’s foundation in the U.K. shut down

Spacey’s film “Billionaire Boys Club,” which was shot before the accusations came to light, had a digital and VOD rollout on July 17.

Also Read: ‘Brooklyn Nine Nine’ Writers Are ‘Actively Talking About’ a #MeToo Episode

James Toback

Nearly 400 women have accused director James Toback of sexual misconduct, including actresses Selma Blair, Rachel McAdams and Julianne Moore. Toback denied the allegations. He was dropped by his agent and has not released any work since the Los Angeles Times first reported on the accusations in October. 

Harvey Weinstein

Harvey Weinstein has been accused by more than more than 80 women of sexual misconduct. In May, he was indicted on charges of rape in the first and third degrees as well as criminal sexual act in the first degree. In July, Weinstein he was indicted on an additional count of criminal sexual act in the first degree and two counts of predatory sexual assault.

Weinstein has denied “any allegations of non-consensual sex.”

After the first accusations against him were reported by The New York Times, he was fired by the board of The Weinstein Company. Apple axed TWC’s series about Elvis Presley; Amazon canceled an in-development series from David O. Russell that was set to star Robert De Niro and Julianne Moore. Weinstein was later ejected from Motion Picture Academy and other major industry guilds.

Steve Wynn

Dozens of women accused casino mogul Steve Wynn of sexual misconduct. The accusations included sexual harassment, exposing himself and one woman who accused him of rape, which prompted a $7.5 million settlement payment from Wynn. Wynn has denied any wrongdoing.

Wynn resigned from his post as finance chairman for the Republican National Committee and as chairman and chief executive of his company, Wynn Resorts.

Lost Some Jobs

Morgan Freeman

Eight women came forward to CNN to accuse actor Morgan Freeman of sexual harassment, including the co-writer of the article, who described a pattern of inappropriate comments and unwanted touching. Freeman apologized, but denied accusations of sexual misconduct.

Visa, which featured Freeman’s voice in its commercials, pulled his ads. In May, TransLink announced it was dropping the idea of using Freeman’s voice for some announcements. He was later replaced with Seth Rogen. 

Morgan continues to appear in films, including Disney’s “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms,” slated for release in November.

Chris Hardwick

On June 14, Chris Hardwick’s ex-girlfriend, actress Chloe Dykstra, said she suffered sexual and emotional abuse from an unnamed ex-boyfriend in a Medium post. Hardwick denied the allegations. He was suspended from AMC, NBC, and the website Nerdist pending an investigation. During his suspension, AMC announced Hardwick would “step aside” from moderating planned AMC and BBC America panels at Comic-Con International in San Diego in July. 

On July 25, AMC announced Hardwick was cleared to return to work. NBC and Nerdist also reinstated Hardwick.

Garrison Keillor

On Nov. 29, Garrison Keillor, the creator and former host of “A Prairie Home Companion,” was fired by Minnesota Public Radio following sexual misconduct accusations. Keillor later said he had been fired for putting his hand “on a woman’s bare back.” But an investigation by MPR News, published in January, said Keillor had engaged in “years-long pattern of behavior that left several women who worked for Keillor feeling mistreated, sexualized or belittled.”

Keillor denied the accusations.

MPR announced in November it was firing Keillor and would no longer distribute his show “The Writer’s Almanac.” The company also said it was rebranding his former show, “A Prairie Home Companion” under a new name, “Live From Here.” In January, the University of Minnesota removed a plaque bearing his name from its Scholars Walk. In April, Keillor wrote that he was “ready to start up both shows again.” Keillor continues to writes a column for the Union Leader newspaper in New Hampshire.

R. Kelly

Parents of three women said that Kelly was keeping them from their daughters, according to BuzzFeed, which used the word “cult” in quotation marks to describe their living conditions. Another woman later told BuzzFeed that Kelly had sexually abused her. Kelly, who was found not guilty on child pornography charges in 2008, has denied all of the most recent accusations.

A #MuteRKelly hashtag led to the cancellation of several of his concerts. After banning Kelly from its official playlists in May under its “Hate Content and Hateful Conduct policy,” Spotify began streaming his music again in June, following intense backlash from users. Apple Music and Pandora also pulled Kelly’s music from their editorial playlists but his music is still available on all these platforms.

Kelly, who has been touring with singer Charlie Wilson, also dismissed the accusations last month in a song entitled “I Admit.” According to Spin, he is scheduled to perform at the Hulu Theatre at New York City’s Madison Square Garden next month.

John Lasseter

The Hollywood Reporter said “multiple” Pixar insiders accused John Lasseter, then the most powerful man in animation, of unwanted touching, kissing, and comments about people’s physical attributes. Lasseter apologized for what he called “missteps.” 

After a six-month leave of absence, Lasseter announced he was leaving Disney at the end of 2018.

Jeremy Piven

Eight women have accused actor Jeremy Piven of sexual misconduct, including assault. 

Piven denied the accusations, saying he had passed a lie detector test. “As evidenced by the lie detector test I took and passed, I have never forced myself on anyone, nor have I ever exposed myself or restrained anyone against their will,” he told BuzzFeed.

“The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” killed a pre-recorded Piven interview. CBS announced it was pulling the plug on Piven’s show, “Wisdom of the Crowd,” citing poor ratings. In July, Piven told Fox 11’s “Good Day L.A.” he was trying his hand at comedy.

Also Read: Anita Hill Calls on Men to ‘Step Up’ in #MeToo Era: ‘There Are No Innocent Bystanders’ (Video)

Tavis Smiley

In December, talk show host Tavis Smiley was suspended by PBS following a sexual misconduct investigation which concluded that Smiley had engaged in sexual relationships with multiple subordinates and created an abusive and threatening environment.

Smiley admitted to past relationships but denied any misconduct. But Public Radio International ended its relationship with Smiley, as did Mills Entertainment, which had been producing his theatrical retelling of the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.; the production was suspended.

In January, Smiley announced a new show, “The Upside with Tavis Smiley,” on The Word Network. He later went on a five-city tour discussing relationships between men and women in the workplace. He is also working on an upcoming book, “Leading by Listening.”

In February, Smiley filed a lawsuit accusing PBS of acting in “a racially hostile manner” over the years. PBS countersued. 

Jeffrey Tambor

Three women accused actor Jeffrey Tambor of sexual misconduct. Tabor apologized for “mean” and “difficult” behavior, but denied the accusations.

In February, Tambor was fired from his hit Amazon show “Transparent.” That same month, he was removed from a promotional poster for the movie, “The Death of Stalin.” But Tambor remained in the film itself. In June, he was replaced as voice talent in Paramount’s upcoming animated offering “Wonder Park.”

In May, Tambor returned to Netflix’s “Arrested Development” for its fifth season.

Kept All Jobs

John Bailey

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said it received three claims of sexual harassment against its president, John Bailey. No details about the nature of the claims has been released.

Bailey denied the accusations. “That did not happen,” he wrote in a memo to staff obtained by TheWrap.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced in March that an internal investigation had cleared Bailey.

David Copperfield

In January, model Brittney Lewis accused magician David Copperfield of drugging and raping her in 1988, when she was 17.

Copperfield did not address the rape accusations directly. Instead, he tweeted support for the #MeToo movement and asked people not to “rush to judgment.” He continues to perform his magic show at Las Vegas’ MGM Grand.

James Franco

Five women accused James Franco of subjecting them to sexually exploitative or inappropriate behavior. 

Franco’s attorney denied Paley’s allegations, calling them “not accurate.”

The actor returns next month for the second season of HBO’s ’70s-set series “The Deuce.”

Nev Schulman

In May, a woman who appeared in his MTV series “Catfish” accused the show’s host, Nev Schulman, of pressuring her into having sex with him. Schulman called the accusations “false.”

After initially halting production on his show “Catfish,”  MTV announced it would resume production after an investigation found the claims “not credible and without merit.”

Ryan Seacrest

Ryan Seacrest was accused of sexual misconduct by his former stylist, Suzie Hardy, who said that the abuse included “grinding his erect penis against her while clad only in his underwear, groping her vagina, and at one point slapping her buttock so hard that it left a large welt still visible hours later.” 

Seacrest denied the accusations. 

In February, E! announced an investigation into allegations of misconduct by Seacrest found “insufficient evidence to support the claims.” He continued to host a wide range of shows on radio and TV, including ABC’s “American Idol” and the daily talk show “Live With Kelly & Ryan.”

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Stephen Colbert Says He Got No Pushback From CBS on Les Moonves Monologue (Video)

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‘Murphy Brown’ Revival Will Have #MeToo Episode; Diane English Addresses Les Moonves Accusations

Friday marks three weeks since six women accused CBS CEO Leslie Moonves of sexual misconduct in a New Yorker story. But unlike many of the men accused since the start of the #MeToo movement last year, Moonves has held on to his job so far.

What happens next for Moonves depends on a CBS investigation being conducted by two outside law firms. But as our list below shows, losing his job is neither a certainty nor an impossibility. The #MeToo movement that began with the October 2017 accusations against Harvey Weinstein has toppled some of the most powerful men in America, from Charlie Rose to Sen. Al Franken. Others have held on despite serious accusations against them.

Here is a list of a few of the most high-profile men who have been accused of sexual misconduct over the past 10 months, followed by more detail about each case.

Lost All Jobs

Louis C.K.

Five women accused comedian Louis C.K. of exposing himself and masturbating in front of them more than a decade ago.

“These stories are true,” C.K. said in response. “The power I had over these women is that they admired me. And I wielded that power irresponsibly.”

HBO, Netflix, and FX severed their ties With C.K. The release of his then-upcoming film, “I Love You, Daddy,” was canceled. In January, TBS announced it would not go forward with C.K.’s animated comedy “The Cops.”

Al Franken

Former Minnesota Sen. Al Franken was accused by eight women of unwanted kissing and groping. Franken issued several statements apologizing in some instances and saying that he did not recall specific details surrounding other accusations. He resigned from the U.S. Senate on Jan. 2.

 

Matt Lauer

Several women accused “Today” co-host Matt Lauer of sexual misconduct. They included three women who said he made sexual advances, a woman who said she had a consensual sexual relationship with Matt Lauer, which she described as an “abuse of power” and another woman who said she passed out as Lauer assaulted her.

Soon after the first accusations came to light, Lauer issued a statement expressing “sorrow” and “regret.” In April, Lauer issued another statement saying: “Any allegations or reports of coercive, aggressive or abusive actions on my part, at any time, are absolutely false.”

Lauer was fired from NBC in November. 

Brett Ratner

Six women accused director Brett Ranter of sexual misconduct, including harassment, groping and forced oral sex in a Nov. 1, 2017 Los Angeles Times story. Four more women accused him off sexual misconduct in a subsequent L.A. Times story, which said two women accused Ratner of working with Russell Simmons to harass or assault them. Variety reported last November that Beverly Hills police had investigated Ratner and music exec Russell Simmons in 2001 after a woman filed a report alleging that she was a victim of sexual battery. The district attorney’s office declined to file criminal charges due to “insufficient evidence.”

Ratner denied the accusations. He later sued one woman, accusing her of libeling him by accusing him of rape.

Ratner was dropped by Warner Bros., Playboy announced it was putting his Hugh Hefner biopic on hold and liquor giant Diageo discontinued Ratner’s Hilhaven Lodge whiskey.

Charlie Rose

Thirty-five women accused longtime journalist Charlie Rose of sexual misconduct, including obscene phone calls, groping and exposing himself. Rose has apologized for any “inappropriate behavior” but denied the accuracy of the allegations. On Nov. 21, CBS News, PBS and Bloomberg cut ties with Rose.

Russell Simmons

More than a dozen women have accused music mogul Russell Simmons of sexual misconduct, including rape. Simmons has denied the accusations. In November, Simmons stepped down from his companies. Soon after, HBO announced that it was removing his name from “all Def Comedy” shows. In January, Oprah Winfrey said she was deleting Simmons from her new self-help book.

Kevin Spacey

More than 30 men accused Kevin Spacey of sexual of sexual misconduct, including actor Anthony Rapp, who said Spacey made a sexual advance on him when he was 14.

Spacey said he did not “remember the encounter,” and came out as gay. A representative later said Spacey was taking “the time necessary to seek evaluation and treatment.”

In November, Netflix fired Spacey from his hit series “House of Cards.” The streaming service also scrapped his Gore Vidal biopic. Spacey was also cut from Ridley Scott’s “All the Money in the World,” and replaced with Christopher Plummer. In February, Spacey’s foundation in the U.K. shut down

Spacey’s film “Billionaire Boys Club,” which was shot before the accusations came to light, had a digital and VOD rollout on July 17.

James Toback

Nearly 400 women have accused director James Toback of sexual misconduct, including actresses Selma Blair, Rachel McAdams and Julianne Moore. Toback denied the allegations. He was dropped by his agent and has not released any work since the Los Angeles Times first reported on the accusations in October. 

Harvey Weinstein

Harvey Weinstein has been accused by more than more than 80 women of sexual misconduct. In May, he was indicted on charges of rape in the first and third degrees as well as criminal sexual act in the first degree. In July, Weinstein he was indicted on an additional count of criminal sexual act in the first degree and two counts of predatory sexual assault.

Weinstein has denied “any allegations of non-consensual sex.”

After the first accusations against him were reported by The New York Times, he was fired by the board of The Weinstein Company. Apple axed TWC’s series about Elvis Presley; Amazon canceled an in-development series from David O. Russell that was set to star Robert De Niro and Julianne Moore. Weinstein was later ejected from Motion Picture Academy and other major industry guilds.

Steve Wynn

Dozens of women accused casino mogul Steve Wynn of sexual misconduct. The accusations included sexual harassment, exposing himself and one woman who accused him of rape, which prompted a $7.5 million settlement payment from Wynn. Wynn has denied any wrongdoing.

Wynn resigned from his post as finance chairman for the Republican National Committee and as chairman and chief executive of his company, Wynn Resorts.

Lost Some Jobs

Morgan Freeman

Eight women came forward to CNN to accuse actor Morgan Freeman of sexual harassment, including the co-writer of the article, who described a pattern of inappropriate comments and unwanted touching. Freeman apologized, but denied accusations of sexual misconduct.

Visa, which featured Freeman’s voice in its commercials, pulled his ads. In May, TransLink announced it was dropping the idea of using Freeman’s voice for some announcements. He was later replaced with Seth Rogen. 

Morgan continues to appear in films, including Disney’s “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms,” slated for release in November.

Chris Hardwick

On June 14, Chris Hardwick’s ex-girlfriend, actress Chloe Dykstra, said she suffered sexual and emotional abuse from an unnamed ex-boyfriend in a Medium post. Hardwick denied the allegations. He was suspended from AMC, NBC, and the website Nerdist pending an investigation. During his suspension, AMC announced Hardwick would “step aside” from moderating planned AMC and BBC America panels at Comic-Con International in San Diego in July. 

On July 25, AMC announced Hardwick was cleared to return to work. NBC and Nerdist also reinstated Hardwick.

Garrison Keillor

On Nov. 29, Garrison Keillor, the creator and former host of “A Prairie Home Companion,” was fired by Minnesota Public Radio following sexual misconduct accusations. Keillor later said he had been fired for putting his hand “on a woman’s bare back.” But an investigation by MPR News, published in January, said Keillor had engaged in “years-long pattern of behavior that left several women who worked for Keillor feeling mistreated, sexualized or belittled.”

Keillor denied the accusations.

MPR announced in November it was firing Keillor and would no longer distribute his show “The Writer’s Almanac.” The company also said it was rebranding his former show, “A Prairie Home Companion” under a new name, “Live From Here.” In January, the University of Minnesota removed a plaque bearing his name from its Scholars Walk. In April, Keillor wrote that he was “ready to start up both shows again.” Keillor continues to writes a column for the Union Leader newspaper in New Hampshire.

R. Kelly

Parents of three women said that Kelly was keeping them from their daughters, according to BuzzFeed, which used the word “cult” in quotation marks to describe their living conditions. Another woman later told BuzzFeed that Kelly had sexually abused her. Kelly, who was found not guilty on child pornography charges in 2008, has denied all of the most recent accusations.

A #MuteRKelly hashtag led to the cancellation of several of his concerts. After banning Kelly from its official playlists in May under its “Hate Content and Hateful Conduct policy,” Spotify began streaming his music again in June, following intense backlash from users. Apple Music and Pandora also pulled Kelly’s music from their editorial playlists but his music is still available on all these platforms.

Kelly, who has been touring with singer Charlie Wilson, also dismissed the accusations last month in a song entitled “I Admit.” According to Spin, he is scheduled to perform at the Hulu Theatre at New York City’s Madison Square Garden next month.

John Lasseter

The Hollywood Reporter said “multiple” Pixar insiders accused John Lasseter, then the most powerful man in animation, of unwanted touching, kissing, and comments about people’s physical attributes. Lasseter apologized for what he called “missteps.” 

After a six-month leave of absence, Lasseter announced he was leaving Disney at the end of 2018.

Jeremy Piven

Eight women have accused actor Jeremy Piven of sexual misconduct, including assault. 

Piven denied the accusations, saying he had passed a lie detector test. “As evidenced by the lie detector test I took and passed, I have never forced myself on anyone, nor have I ever exposed myself or restrained anyone against their will,” he told BuzzFeed.

“The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” killed a pre-recorded Piven interview. CBS announced it was pulling the plug on Piven’s show, “Wisdom of the Crowd,” citing poor ratings. In July, Piven told Fox 11’s “Good Day L.A.” he was trying his hand at comedy.

Tavis Smiley

In December, talk show host Tavis Smiley was suspended by PBS following a sexual misconduct investigation which concluded that Smiley had engaged in sexual relationships with multiple subordinates and created an abusive and threatening environment.

Smiley admitted to past relationships but denied any misconduct. But Public Radio International ended its relationship with Smiley, as did Mills Entertainment, which had been producing his theatrical retelling of the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.; the production was suspended.

In January, Smiley announced a new show, “The Upside with Tavis Smiley,” on The Word Network. He later went on a five-city tour discussing relationships between men and women in the workplace. He is also working on an upcoming book, “Leading by Listening.”

In February, Smiley filed a lawsuit accusing PBS of acting in “a racially hostile manner” over the years. PBS countersued. 

Jeffrey Tambor

Three women accused actor Jeffrey Tambor of sexual misconduct. Tabor apologized for “mean” and “difficult” behavior, but denied the accusations.

In February, Tambor was fired from his hit Amazon show “Transparent.” That same month, he was removed from a promotional poster for the movie, “The Death of Stalin.” But Tambor remained in the film itself. In June, he was replaced as voice talent in Paramount’s upcoming animated offering “Wonder Park.”

In May, Tambor returned to Netflix’s “Arrested Development” for its fifth season.

Kept All Jobs

John Bailey

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said it received three claims of sexual harassment against its president, John Bailey. No details about the nature of the claims has been released.

Bailey denied the accusations. “That did not happen,” he wrote in a memo to staff obtained by TheWrap.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced in March that an internal investigation had cleared Bailey.

David Copperfield

In January, model Brittney Lewis accused magician David Copperfield of drugging and raping her in 1988, when she was 17.

Copperfield did not address the rape accusations directly. Instead, he tweeted support for the #MeToo movement and asked people not to “rush to judgment.” He continues to perform his magic show at Las Vegas’ MGM Grand.

James Franco

Five women accused James Franco of subjecting them to sexually exploitative or inappropriate behavior. 

Franco’s attorney denied Paley’s allegations, calling them “not accurate.”

The actor returns next month for the second season of HBO’s ’70s-set series “The Deuce.”

Nev Schulman

In May, a woman who appeared in his MTV series “Catfish” accused the show’s host, Nev Schulman, of pressuring her into having sex with him. Schulman called the accusations “false.”

After initially halting production on his show “Catfish,”  MTV announced it would resume production after an investigation found the claims “not credible and without merit.”

Ryan Seacrest

Ryan Seacrest was accused of sexual misconduct by his former stylist, Suzie Hardy, who said that the abuse included “grinding his erect penis against her while clad only in his underwear, groping her vagina, and at one point slapping her buttock so hard that it left a large welt still visible hours later.” 

Seacrest denied the accusations. 

In February, E! announced an investigation into allegations of misconduct by Seacrest found “insufficient evidence to support the claims.” He continued to host a wide range of shows on radio and TV, including ABC’s “American Idol” and the daily talk show “Live With Kelly & Ryan.”

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Our Pete Hammond Tries To Make Sense Of Oscar’s Moment Of Reckoning

I have been on vacation in Hawaii this week waiting for the hurricane. It missed us but apparently hit the Oscars instead.
Sitting in my beach cabana I made calls and sent emails to see if the perspective from Academy members matched the social media f…

I have been on vacation in Hawaii this week waiting for the hurricane. It missed us but apparently hit the Oscars instead.
Sitting in my beach cabana I made calls and sent emails to see if the perspective from Academy members matched the social media firestorm — and I mean firestorm — aimed at the Oscar’s additions. A new category for “Popular” film; a two-week move backward in the calendar; the telecast downsizing of some undetermined below the line categories.
On the…

Bart & Fleming: And The Oscar For Most Hastily Implemented Reforms Goes To…

Peter Bart and Mike Fleming Jr. worked together for two decades at Daily Variety. In this weekly column, two old friends get together and grind their axes, mostly on the movie business.

FLEMING: The Academy went crazy with an Oscar overhaul yesterday….

Peter Bart and Mike Fleming Jr. worked together for two decades at Daily Variety. In this weekly column, two old friends get together and grind their axes, mostly on the movie business. FLEMING: The Academy went crazy with an Oscar overhaul yesterday. I feared they might go the other way, making it harder for streamers like Netflix. Instead, they made sweeping changes to be more inclusive, trying to halt a continual ratings side with the most dramatic moves since they…

Academy Board of Governors Re-Elects John Bailey as President

After a tumultuous first term, Bailey gets one more year as AMPAS president.

As expected, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Board of Governors re-elected president John Bailey for his second one-year term on Tuesday night (August 7). They meet every August to pick their officers for the next year.

It’s been a tumultuous year for Director of Photography Bailey (“Ordinary People”), who after 15 years on the Board representing the Cinematographers branch, had to withstand a leaked sexual harassment investigation; he was exonerated. More often than not, incumbents get another shot, unless a strong viable challenger comes forward.

The 54-member board is made up of three governors each from 17 branches who serve three-year terms. Academy presidents can serve four one-year terms in a row, but having served two consecutive terms on the board of governors, Bailey has one year to go. His wife, editor Carol Littleton, also serves on the board.

Bailey, who turns 76 on Friday, is a strong representative of the crafts — and fights to keep them on the ratings-challenged Oscar telecast–but does not have everyone behind him. Nonetheless, he got one more year of service. He is continuing to fight for membership diversity and rules reform, especially on the foreign committee.

As expected, the following were elected to officer positions by the Board:

Re-elected were Makeup and Stylists branch, Lois Burwell, First Vice President (chair, Awards and Events Committee), Fox Searchlight co-chairman, Nancy Utley, Vice President (chair, Education and Outreach Committee), Paramount chief executive Jim Gianopulos, Treasurer (chair, Finance Committee), and Casting director David Rubin, Secretary (chair, Membership and Administration Committee).

Returning to the board after a hiatus is producer Sid Ganis, Vice President (chair, Museum Committee), who served as as Academy President from 2005-2009. Screenwriter Larry Karaszewski becomes an Officer for the first time, as Vice President (chair, Preservation and History Committee), replacing producer Kathleen Kennedy, who chose not to seek board re-election.

A full list of the Academy’s 2018-19 Board of Governors is here.

John Bailey Re-Elected to Second Term as Academy President

John Bailey has been re-elected as president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences by the organization’s board of governors, which met Tuesday night. Bailey is the 34th person to hold the office after being elected president a year…

John Bailey has been re-elected as president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences by the organization’s board of governors, which met Tuesday night. Bailey is the 34th person to hold the office after being elected president a year ago. The board of governors nominates contenders for the position for a vote, with […]

AMPAS Re-Elects John Bailey As President For His Second Term

John Bailey was re-elected president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Tuesday night by the organization’s Board of Governors.
Also elected to officer positions by the Board:

Lois Burwell, First Vice President (chair, Awards and Even…

John Bailey was re-elected president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Tuesday night by the organization's Board of Governors. Also elected to officer positions by the Board: Lois Burwell, First Vice President (chair, Awards and Events Committee) Sid Ganis, Vice President (chair, Museum Committee) Larry Karaszewski, Vice President (chair, Preservation and History Committee) Nancy Utley, Vice President (chair, Education and Outreach Committee) Jim…

John Bailey Wins Second Term as Academy President

John Bailey has been re-elected president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for a second term, the Academy announced on Tuesday evening.
Bailey, a cinematographer, was first elected president last year. Although Academy presidents are …

John Bailey has been re-elected president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for a second term, the Academy announced on Tuesday evening.

Bailey, a cinematographer, was first elected president last year. Although Academy presidents are permitted to serve four consecutive one-year terms, the upcoming term will be Bailey’s last. Because of term limits, he will have to leave the board next summer, which will make him ineligible for another term as president.

Bailey’s films include “Ordinary People,” “The Big Chill” and “Groundhog Day.” He is the first member of the Cinematographers Branch to serve as Academy president.

Four additional Academy officers were re-elected to their positions on the board: Lois Burwell as first vice president, Jim Gianopulos as treasurer, David Rubin as secretary and Nancy Utley as vice president. Former Academy president Sid Ganis, who returned to the board this year, and Writers Branch governor Larry Karaszewski were also elected to vice presidential posts.

AMPAS presidents are almost invariably re-elected if they are eligible, and Bailey was expected to prevail in Tuesday night’s vote from the 54-member board. But the election came at stormy time for the Academy and a tricky one for its president, who in March was the subject of an AMPAS investigation over a sexual-harassment allegation.

Bailey was unanimously cleared by an Academy board – but the fact that the investigation was leaked to the press angered him and his supporters, especially since details of the leak suggested that it had come from inside the Academy.

In addition to that tension, the board has had a high-profile defection in recent months, when producer Bill Mechanic resigned his position in April with a scathing letter that criticized Academy CEO Dawn Hudson, the organization’s response to the #MeToo and #OscarsSoWhite movements and the financial drain of the behind-schedule, over-budget Academy Museum of Motion Pictures.

Following that, several notable members of the Board of Governors, including Steven Spielberg and longtime Academy official Kathleen Kennedy, opted not to run for re-election to a board that some members feel has become too big and unwieldy and is hopelessly divided between above-the-line and below-the-line representatives.

Over the last three years, the Academy has increased its size by more than 2,000 new members, growing by more than 25 percent. At the same time, viewership of the Oscars telecast, from which the Academy draws most of its operating income, have fallen steadily, hitting an all-time low in March, 2018.

In that climate, Bailey will face a final year in office. And if he wants to come back for more, he is free to run again for the board, and the presidency, after a one-year hiatus.

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Roman Polanski Threatens to Sue Over ‘Illegal’ Expulsion From Academy

Roman Polanski’s attorney Harland Braun sent a letter to Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences president John Bailey on Tuesday, threatening to sue over what he calls Polanski’s “illegal” expulsion from the organization la…

Roman Polanski’s attorney Harland Braun sent a letter to Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences president John Bailey on Tuesday, threatening to sue over what he calls Polanski’s “illegal” expulsion from the organization last week. “I am writing this letter to you to avoid unnecessary litigation,” the letter reads. “Mr. Polanski has a right […]

Roman Polanski Threatens Academy With Legal Action Over ‘Illegal Expulsion’

Roman Polanski’s attorney Harland Braun will threaten legal action if the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences “refuses to follow its own rules” in regards to the “illegal expulsion” of the filmmaker from the Academ…

Roman Polanski’s attorney Harland Braun will threaten legal action if the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences “refuses to follow its own rules” in regards to the “illegal expulsion” of the filmmaker from the Academy.

In a letter to Academy President John Bailey dated May 8, Braun wrote, “I am writing this letter to you to avoid unnecessary litigation. Mr. Polanski has a right to go to court and require your organization to follow its own procedures, as well as California law.”

He added, “The only proper solution would be for your organization to rescind its illegal expulsion of Mr. Polanski and follow its own Standard of Conduct by giving Mr. Polanski reasonable notice of the charges against him and a fair hearing to present his position with respect to any proposed expulsion.”

At the beginning of the letter, Braun cited a May 3 correspondence sent to Polanski from the Academy, saying that “this unsigned letter was the only notice that Mr. Polanski was given that he was expelled from the Academy.”

Polanski and Bill Cosby were expelled from the Academy on May 1 in accordance with the organization’s Standard of Conduct, and Polanski had said he felt “blindsided” by the decision. 

“We plan to ask the Academy to follow its own rules which is to give Roman 10 days notice to present his side,” Polanski’s attorney Harland Braun said in a statement to TheWrap. “We were prepared but were blindsided by their violation of their own standards. What did the 56 members review??”

However, the Academy exercised a clause in its bylaws allowing the 54-person Board of Governors to expel any member “for cause” with a two-thirds vote. According to an individual with knowledge of the situation, the board was motivated in part by the fact that both Cosby and Polanski had been convicted of sexually related crimes in U.S. courts.

Asked about whether the Academy had followed the due-process procedures outlined in the updated grievances process announced in January, a spokesperson cited the Academy’s Standards of Conduct, Section 8.

“The Board of Governors retains its independent duty and authority as outlined in the bylaws to address and take action on any matter, whether submitted by the process outlined above or not, related to a member’s status and to enforce the Academy’s Standards of Conduct,” reads the section. In other words, the board retains the right to step in and discipline members regardless of whether a formal grievance process has been triggered.

In addition, the Academy bylaws state: “any member of the Academy may be suspended or expelled for cause by the Board of Governors. Expulsion or suspension as herein provided for shall require the affirmative vote of not less than two-thirds of all the Governors.”

Polanski was expelled 15 years after his film “The Pianist” took home Oscars for Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Actor at the 75th Academy Awards. The film was nominated for Best Picture, but lost to “Chicago.”

Polanski was arrested and charged with raping 13-year-old Samantha Geimer in 1977. He pled guilty and was imprisoned for 42 days, after which he was released and put on probation as part of a plea bargain. When Polanski learned that a judge was planning to revoke the plea deal, the director fled Paris before the sentencing.

A spokesperson for the Academy has not yet responded to TheWrap’s request for comment.

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Roman Polanski Victim Thinks Film Academy Was 'Ugly and Cruel' to Eject Him

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Bill Mechanic’s Academy Exit Blasts CEO Dawn Hudson, Inclusion Efforts, #MeToo Response

Hollywood producer and departing governor of the motion picture academy Bill Mechanic sent a blistering letter of resignation to John Bailey on Tuesday, citing multiple institutional failures as reasons for his departure.

Mechanic blasted Academy CEO Dawn Hudson and other leadership for creating a “fractured environment which does not allow for a unified, strategically sound, vision,” according to the letter, first obtained by The Hollywood Reporter.

Mechanic also criticized the organization’s handling of crises like #OscarsSoWhite and the #MeToo movement, which touched the Academy in the form of accusations against its president.

Also Read: ‘Hacksaw Ridge’ Producer Bill Mechanic Resigns From Film Academy Board

“I feel I have failed the organization. I feel we have failed the organization. We have settled on numeric answers to the problem of inclusion, barely recognizing that this is the Industry’s problem far, far more than it is the Academy’s. Instead we react to pressure,” Mechanic wrote.

One of his fellow board members thought the organization should ban white men from further entry, Mechanic said.

“One Governor even went as far as suggesting we don’t admit a single white male to the Academy, regardless of merit!” he exclaimed.

The “pressure” Mechanic referenced is presumably the prevailing criticism of the annual Oscars telecast for its lily-white field of nominees. The aforementioned social media movement #OscarsSoWhite sparked national debate about Hollywood’s rampant racial inequality.

In reference to board of governors revoking Harvey Weinstein’s membership last year in wake of widespread rape, sexual assault and harassment accusations (Weinstein denies nonconsensual sex), Mechanic said the board  “decided to play moral police.”

The producer then proposes this moral stance led to “most probably someone inside the Academy leaked confidential information in order to compromise the President,” referring to Bailey’s own sexual harassment accusations. Bailey, a cinematographer by trade, denied the accusations and the Academy stands by him.

A spokesperson for the Academy would not immediately confirm the veracity of the letter.

Read the full resignation letter:

Dear John:

There’s a moment when if you fail to make an impact, the right thing to do is make for the exits. After Saturday’s meeting, I’m at that moment and I respectfully must resign from the Board of Governors.

I have a great love and respect for the Academy. I grew up loving movies and watching the Academy Awards, never dreaming of being a nominee, producing the show, and certainly not becoming a Governor. Eventually all of these things actually came to pass and it was exciting when I was originally elected to the Board, serving with so many distinguished legends side-by-side in a non-hierarchical environment.

I left the Board after one term, but decided to run again a couple of years ago when many of the decisions of the Board seemed to me to be reactive rather than considered. I felt I could help provide some perspective and guidance.

But it’s exceedingly clear to me since returning to the Board that things have changed and there is now a fractured environment which does not allow for a unified, strategically sound, vision. I haven’t had any real impact, so now it’s time to leave.

I feel I have failed the organization. I feel we have failed the organization.

We have settled on numeric answers to the problem of inclusion, barely recognizing that this is the Industry’s problem far, far more than it is the Academy’s. Instead we react to pressure. One Governor even went as far as suggesting we don’t admit a single white male to the Academy, regardless of merit!

We have failed to the move the Oscars into the modern age, despite decades of increased competition and declining ratings. Instead we have kept to the same number of awards, which inherently means a long and boring show, and over the past decade we have nominated so many smaller independent films that the Oscars feel like they should be handed out in a tent. Big is not inherently bad and small is not inherently good. Moving into the modern age does not mean competing with the Emmys for non-theatrical features.

We have failed to solve the problems of the Museum, which is ridiculously over its initial budget and way past its original opening date. Despite having the best of the best inside the Academy membership, we have ignored the input of our Governors and our members.

We have failed our employees. Over the past seven years, we have watched dedicated employees of the Academy be driven out or leave out of frustration. Certainly, some freshening of an organization is a good thing, but that doesn’t seem the case here; this seems more like a “purge” to stifle debate and support management as opposed to the needs of the Academy.

We have failed to provide leadership. Yes, that includes the Presidency, which with a one year term creates instability, but moreover the CEO role has become much broader and far reaching, and the results are erratic at best. It also includes 54 Board of Governors, which is so large it makes decision-making difficult and makes it way too easy for the silent majority to stay silent.

Many of the problems I’m talking about come not from malfeasance but rather from the silence of too many Governors. A vocal few people are insistent that the problems are not really problems or would be too damaging to the Academy to admit. Not facing your problems means you are not addressing those issues and, guess what, problems don’t go away — they simmer under the surface and, if anything, get worse.

You can’t hide the drainage of employees, the cataclysmic decline in the Oscar ratings, the fact that no popular film has won in over a decade; that we decided to play Moral Police and most probably someone inside the Academy leaked confidential information in order to compromise the President; that the Board doesn’t feel their voice is being heard with regard to the Museum; that we have allowed the Academy to be blamed for things way beyond our control and then try to do things which are not in our purview (sexual harassment, discrimination in the Industry).

Perhaps I’m wrong about all of this and if so my resignation will simply make things better. If that’s the case, so be it. If it’s not, then I truly hope the majority of Governors will take action. Check in with our membership and get their input. If they respond as many have with me, then change the leadership of the Academy and put the Academy’s interests above any personal likes or dislikes.

Respectfully,

Bill Mechanic 

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‘Hacksaw Ridge’ Producer Bill Mechanic Resigns From Film Academy Board

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John Bailey Cleared: Read the Motion Picture Academy’s Full Statement

Hollywood producer and departing governor of the motion picture academy Bill Mechanic sent a blistering letter of resignation to John Bailey on Tuesday, citing multiple institutional failures as reasons for his departure.

Mechanic blasted Academy CEO Dawn Hudson and other leadership for creating a “fractured environment which does not allow for a unified, strategically sound, vision,” according to the letter, first obtained by The Hollywood Reporter.

Mechanic also criticized the organization’s handling of crises like #OscarsSoWhite and the #MeToo movement, which touched the Academy in the form of accusations against its president.

“I feel I have failed the organization. I feel we have failed the organization. We have settled on numeric answers to the problem of inclusion, barely recognizing that this is the Industry’s problem far, far more than it is the Academy’s. Instead we react to pressure,” Mechanic wrote.

One of his fellow board members thought the organization should ban white men from further entry, Mechanic said.

“One Governor even went as far as suggesting we don’t admit a single white male to the Academy, regardless of merit!” he exclaimed.

The “pressure” Mechanic referenced is presumably the prevailing criticism of the annual Oscars telecast for its lily-white field of nominees. The aforementioned social media movement #OscarsSoWhite sparked national debate about Hollywood’s rampant racial inequality.

In reference to board of governors revoking Harvey Weinstein’s membership last year in wake of widespread rape, sexual assault and harassment accusations (Weinstein denies nonconsensual sex), Mechanic said the board  “decided to play moral police.”

The producer then proposes this moral stance led to “most probably someone inside the Academy leaked confidential information in order to compromise the President,” referring to Bailey’s own sexual harassment accusations. Bailey, a cinematographer by trade, denied the accusations and the Academy stands by him.

A spokesperson for the Academy would not immediately confirm the veracity of the letter.

Read the full resignation letter:

Dear John:

There’s a moment when if you fail to make an impact, the right thing to do is make for the exits. After Saturday’s meeting, I’m at that moment and I respectfully must resign from the Board of Governors.

I have a great love and respect for the Academy. I grew up loving movies and watching the Academy Awards, never dreaming of being a nominee, producing the show, and certainly not becoming a Governor. Eventually all of these things actually came to pass and it was exciting when I was originally elected to the Board, serving with so many distinguished legends side-by-side in a non-hierarchical environment.

I left the Board after one term, but decided to run again a couple of years ago when many of the decisions of the Board seemed to me to be reactive rather than considered. I felt I could help provide some perspective and guidance.

But it’s exceedingly clear to me since returning to the Board that things have changed and there is now a fractured environment which does not allow for a unified, strategically sound, vision. I haven’t had any real impact, so now it’s time to leave.

I feel I have failed the organization. I feel we have failed the organization.

We have settled on numeric answers to the problem of inclusion, barely recognizing that this is the Industry’s problem far, far more than it is the Academy’s. Instead we react to pressure. One Governor even went as far as suggesting we don’t admit a single white male to the Academy, regardless of merit!

We have failed to the move the Oscars into the modern age, despite decades of increased competition and declining ratings. Instead we have kept to the same number of awards, which inherently means a long and boring show, and over the past decade we have nominated so many smaller independent films that the Oscars feel like they should be handed out in a tent. Big is not inherently bad and small is not inherently good. Moving into the modern age does not mean competing with the Emmys for non-theatrical features.

We have failed to solve the problems of the Museum, which is ridiculously over its initial budget and way past its original opening date. Despite having the best of the best inside the Academy membership, we have ignored the input of our Governors and our members.

We have failed our employees. Over the past seven years, we have watched dedicated employees of the Academy be driven out or leave out of frustration. Certainly, some freshening of an organization is a good thing, but that doesn’t seem the case here; this seems more like a “purge” to stifle debate and support management as opposed to the needs of the Academy.

We have failed to provide leadership. Yes, that includes the Presidency, which with a one year term creates instability, but moreover the CEO role has become much broader and far reaching, and the results are erratic at best. It also includes 54 Board of Governors, which is so large it makes decision-making difficult and makes it way too easy for the silent majority to stay silent.

Many of the problems I’m talking about come not from malfeasance but rather from the silence of too many Governors. A vocal few people are insistent that the problems are not really problems or would be too damaging to the Academy to admit. Not facing your problems means you are not addressing those issues and, guess what, problems don’t go away — they simmer under the surface and, if anything, get worse.

You can’t hide the drainage of employees, the cataclysmic decline in the Oscar ratings, the fact that no popular film has won in over a decade; that we decided to play Moral Police and most probably someone inside the Academy leaked confidential information in order to compromise the President; that the Board doesn’t feel their voice is being heard with regard to the Museum; that we have allowed the Academy to be blamed for things way beyond our control and then try to do things which are not in our purview (sexual harassment, discrimination in the Industry).

Perhaps I’m wrong about all of this and if so my resignation will simply make things better. If that’s the case, so be it. If it’s not, then I truly hope the majority of Governors will take action. Check in with our membership and get their input. If they respond as many have with me, then change the leadership of the Academy and put the Academy’s interests above any personal likes or dislikes.

Respectfully,

Bill Mechanic 

Related stories from TheWrap:

'Hacksaw Ridge' Producer Bill Mechanic Resigns From Film Academy Board

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Movie Academy Confirms Exit Of Bill Mechanic From Board Of Governors

Bill Mechanic, the producer and member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences board of governors, has exited the AMPAS post. An Academy spokesperson confirmed his exit just now: “The Academy thanks William Mechanic for his five years of service on the Board of Governors, where he represented the members of the Executives Branch.”
The well wishing is fine, but there’s an incendiary backstory, as well as a letter Mechanic wrote to the board. Sources said part of…

Bill Mechanic, the producer and member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences board of governors, has exited the AMPAS post. An Academy spokesperson confirmed his exit just now: “The Academy thanks William Mechanic for his five years of service on the Board of Governors, where he represented the members of the Executives Branch.” The well wishing is fine, but there’s an incendiary backstory, as well as a letter Mechanic wrote to the board. Sources said part of…

Bart & Fleming: As Academy Clears John Bailey Of Harassment, Was Coverage Fair?

Peter Bart and Mike Fleming Jr. worked together for two decades at Daily Variety. In this occasional column, two old friends get together and grind their axes, mostly on the movie business.
BART: When do you break a story? I first ran into that question when I foolishly ran the name of a murder victim before his next of kin were notified. I was on the crime beat for the Chicago Sun-Times at the time and I got yelled at by my city editor who, in turn, had heard about it…

Peter Bart and Mike Fleming Jr. worked together for two decades at Daily Variety. In this occasional column, two old friends get together and grind their axes, mostly on the movie business. BART: When do you break a story? I first ran into that question when I foolishly ran the name of a murder victim before his next of kin were notified. I was on the crime beat for the Chicago Sun-Times at the time and I got yelled at by my city editor who, in turn, had heard about it…