Mechanic confirmed to Variety on Tuesday that he had resigned from the Board of Governors, but declined to elaborate on the reasons. The former 20th Century Fox movie chief has raised concerns in the past over the Academy’s new code of conduct, which seeks to impose discipline for sexual harassment, discrimination, and abusive conduct. The code got its first test just last month, when Academy President John Bailey faced three misconduct allegations. Bailey denied the claims, and the board opted to take no action.
In December, Mechanic told Vanity Fair that the Academy was ill-equipped to deal with such allegations.
“This should be left to the companies people work for and to the police,” he told the magazine. “Six months ago, all the moral police were silent. Was it wrong for people to be silent six months ago? Yes. Is it wrong to go overboard now? Yes. What you want is rationality to the process.”
Mechanic, a veteran film executive, co-produced the 82nd Academy Awards show in 2010. He rejoined the Board of Governors in 2016 following a hiatus. Most recently, he produced Mel Gibson’s 2016 film “Hacksaw Ridge,” which was nominated for six Oscars, including Best Picture.
Update: The Academy has issued a statement.
“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.”