After a story in Variety in November exposed the fact that registered sex offender — and noted cinematographer — Adam Kimmel has been a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences since 2007, the organization has taken action and removed him.
An Academy source confirmed to Variety that Kimmel is no longer a member. When asked for a comment, a representative for the Academy did not immediately respond.
Kimmel also appears no longer to be in the American Society of Cinematographers, an elite organization for directors of photography either. A spokesperson for the ASC did not return Variety‘s inquiries about Kimmel’s status. But his name, which used to be listed among the organization’s members, is no longer on the ASC website. And on a list of ASC members, Kimmel’s name has an asterisk next to it, which means “withdrawn from membership.” On his IMDb page under trivia, it says, “Was a member of the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) from 2008 until his resignation in 2021.”
Kimmel was arrested in New York City in November 2003 — after having a sexual relationship with an underage girl that summer — and pleaded guilty to rape in the third degree in February 2004. Two months later, he was sentenced to 10 days of community service, 10 years of probation and 10 years on the sex offender registry (it was changed to 20 years retroactively in 2006 because of a statewide change to the law).
In an email to Variety last November, Kimmel acknowledged his guilt, but called the charges “consensual sex with someone under the legal age of consent” — he was 43 when the girl was 15, and then turned 16.
After Kimmel’s conviction, he was the cinematographer of “Capote” with director Bennett Miller, for which he was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award. Kimmel’s previous credits included “The Ref” (1994), “Beautiful Girls” (1996) and “Jesus’ Son” (1999). He was invited to join the Academy in 2007, three years after his entrance onto the sex offender registry.
A number of filmmakers who worked with Kimmel after his 2004 guilty plea told Variety that he never disclosed to them he had been convicted of rape. Kimmel’s story illustrated how there is no vetting on sets in Hollywood, nor at legacy institutions as well.
In its original statement to Variety, the Academy wrote: “The Academy has a stated policy against abusive and indecent behavior, and takes all matters involving harassment, assault or misconduct very seriously. The current membership selection process is based on an honor system that relies on the integrity of prospective members, their sponsors, and branch committee members to disclose any disqualifying information. The Academy is reviewing the situation in accordance with its bylaws and will continue to examine its member selection process regularly to ensure that it accurately reflects Academy values.”
The 2004 conviction was not Kimmel’s only run-in with the law regarding an underage girl. In 2010, Kimmel, then 49, met a 15-year-old girl and her mother outside of a post office in September 2009 — and he and the girl began corresponding. He was arrested on April 23, 2010, and charged with fourth-degree sexual assault, two counts of risk of injury and failing to register as a sex offender in Connecticut. In his email to Variety, Kimmel called those charges “serious and salacious,” and wrote, “unequivocally, I was innocent of those charges.” He was, however, convicted of a Class D felony for failing to register as a sex offender, resulting in him losing his job as cinematographer on the 2011 movie “Moneyball.”
In the wake of the #MeToo reckoning caused by the investigations into Harvey Weinstein in fall 2017, the Academy established its first code of conduct the following year. Until Weinstein’s expulsion in October 2017, only one person had ever been kicked out of the Academy: character actor Carmine Caridi was ousted for piracy reasons in 2004, after he’d loaned out For Your Consideration screeners on VHS that ended up on the internet.
After the code was written in 2018, Bill Cosby and Roman Polanski were also removed. And now Kimmel has now joined the small group of men who’ve been ejected from the Academy for their past sexual crimes.