Bill Cosby And Roman Polanski Expelled From Motion Picture Academy

May 4, 2018
Originally published on May 4, 2018 8:24 am
Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit


The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences says its board has voted to expel actor Bill Cosby and director Roman Polanski. Both men were convicted of crimes involving sexual misconduct. Here's more from NPR's Mandalit del Barco.

MANDALIT DEL BARCO, BYLINE: The board of the organization that hands out Oscars says both men violated the Academy's ethics standards. Last week, Cosby was found guilty of three counts of aggravated indecent assault. He's now awaiting sentencing and could face up to 30 years in prison. The comedian is best known for his TV series from the 1990s, but he was a member of the Academy for his film work.


DEL BARCO: In the 1974 film "Uptown Saturday Night," Cosby teamed up with Sidney Poitier.


SIDNEY POITIER: (As Steve Jackson) Did you see what I saw?

BILL COSBY: (As Wardell Franklin) Yes, I saw what you saw. And don't be worrying about nothing - 'cause the dude mess with me, I'm going to knock him out.

DEL BARCO: Cosby also acted in films like "Mother, Jugs & Speed" in 1976. Polish film director Roman Polanski's career also took off in the 1960s. His feature film debut earned an Oscar nomination, and he got attention for his 1968 psychological thriller "Rosemary's Baby."


MIA FARROW: (As Rosemary Woodhouse) Are you trying to get me to be his mother?

SIDNEY BLACKMER: (As Roman Castevet) Aren't you his mother?

DEL BARCO: In 1974, Polanski directed and even acted in another classic film "Chinatown." Four years later, he was convicted of statutory rape of a 13-year-old girl. Polanski pleaded guilty and served a short jail sentence before fleeing to France. He's avoided arrest for decades, even when he earned an Oscar in 2003 for directing "The Pianist." Actor Harrison Ford opened the envelope that got Polanski a standing ovation.


HARRISON FORD: The Academy congratulates Roman Polanski and accepts this award on his behalf.

DEL BARCO: Polanski and Cosby join a short list of others expelled from membership, including actor Carmine Caridi, who the Academy blamed for pirating movies, and disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein. The Academy gave him the boot last fall. Mandalit del Barco, NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.