With John Bailey, Academy Finds Itself With Yet Another PR Nightmare

On March 16, we received an explosive tip: Motion Picture Academy president John Bailey was being investigated for allegations of sexual harassment. The story we broke, which revealed that the probe was initiated after the Academy received three claims against Bailey, became the latest PR nightmare and potential scandal in recent years to envelop the venerable Hollywood institution.

Last year, after the wrong best picture Oscar was initially announced, the Academy took a long time to publicly respond and apologize for the embarrassing gaffe, drawing the ire of the media.

The Oscar ceremonies in 2015 and 2016 saw a huge public backlash against the Academy when zero minority nominations were announced for any of the acting categories. Outrage over the lack of diversity in the Academy’s voting membership resulted in the creation of the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite, prompting the organization to expedite efforts to diversify its membership, which was 94% white.

Last year, more controversy raged after Casey Affleck won the actor Oscar for “Manchester by the Sea” and press reports resurfaced that he had settled sexual-harassment lawsuits with two women over alleged incidents on a movie set. In January, it was revealed that Affleck wouldn’t present the best actress Oscar, as is customary, nor would he attend the ceremony.

Even after the Academy expelled Harvey Weinstein in October, soon after a New York Times exposé detailed the mogul’s decades of sexual harassment, questions lingered over why the board didn’t oust Affleck, Roman Polanski — who admitted to raping a 13-year-old — and Bill Cosby, who was accused of sexual misconduct and drugging by dozens of women and is about to be retried on criminal charges of alleged assault against a former Temple University employee.

The news about Bailey comes just three months after the Academy instituted a code of conduct stating that members may be disciplined or expelled for abuse, harassment or discrimination. Bailey’s will be the first case to test the new claims process, which determines how such allegations would be adjudicated. Guilty or not guilty, the fallout is far from over.

More Film

  • For Lineup Story

    Billie Piper's Directorial Debut, 'Rare Beasts,' to Bow in Venice Critics' Week

    “Rare Beasts,” the directorial debut of British stage and screen actress Billie Piper (“Doctor Who,” “Penny Dreadful,” “Collateral”) is set to premiere at the Venice Film Festival’s Critics’ Week, which has unveiled its lineup of nine first works, four of them from female filmmakers. Produced by Vaughan Sivell of Western Edge Pictures in association with [...]

  • 'Mientras dure la guerra' -Rodaje Modmedia-

    Alejandro Amenabar, Ricardo Darin, Paco Cabezas Bound for San Sebastian

    MADRID  –  Alejandro Amenábar, Ricardo Darín and Paco Cabezas, director of episodes from “Peaky Blinders” and “American Gods,” look set to join Penelope Cruz, already confirmed as a Donostia Award winner, at this year’s 67th San Sebastian Intl. Film Festival. The biggest movie event in the Spanish-speaking world, this year’s San Sebastian runs Sept.20-28. Amenábar’s [...]

  • Pinewood Studios James Bond

    Netflix's Shepperton Studios Deal Is Stretching the U.K.'s Production Limits

    Netflix’s huge new hub at Shepperton Studios outside London is a further fillip for Britain’s booming production sector. Amid jitters over Brexit and its effects on the economy, the streaming giant’s commitment is a vote of confidence in the U.K. entertainment industry and a continuing source of local jobs. But the decision by Netflix to [...]

  • Bottom of the 9th

    Film Review: ‘Bottom of the 9th’

    Nearly two decades after scoring an audience award at Sundance for “Two Family House,” a smartly understated yet deeply affecting indie about a Staten Island factory worker who deeply regrets stifling his showbiz ambitions, director Raymond De Felitta steps back up to the plate with “Bottom of the 9th,” another dramatically solid and emotionally satisfying [...]

  • Endemol Shine Builds ‘The Bridge’ in

    Endemol Shine Builds ‘The Bridge’ in Africa (EXCLUSIVE)

    DURBAN–Endemol Shine Group has sold the rights to adapt its critically acclaimed and highly popular Nordic Noir detective series “The Bridge” to Cape Town-based production company Both Worlds Pictures, Variety has learned exclusively. The series will feature an all-African cast and will be set around the Beit Bridge border crossing between South Africa and Zimbabwe. Originally known [...]

  • Durban Film Fest 2019

    Durban Fest Hails Film as ‘Conscience of Our Nation’

    DURBAN–When Ros and Teddy Sarkin raised the curtain on the first Durban Intl. Film Festival 40 years ago, the odds were long that their scrappy fest would survive its inaugural edition. The apartheid government and its draconian censorship board had a stranglehold on the films that reached South African theaters, banning the sorts of subversive [...]

  • Tiny: The Life of Erin Blackwell

    Film Review: 'Tiny: The Life of Erin Blackwell'

    “Streetwise,”  the classic and haunting 1984 documentary about homeless street kids in Seattle, is a movie that’s now 35 years old. But for anyone who has seen it, the children it’s about — drifters, hustlers, squatters, thieves, prostitutes — remain frozen in time. And none of them was ever more memorable than Tiny, the 14-year-old [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content