Following the Academy’s decision to expel Harvey Weinstein from its ranks, debate over the fact a handful of other Hollywood stars - who have faced accusations of, and in three cases been tried for, sexual assault or battery - still have their membership has begun.
The 54-strong board of governors - who are behind the world’s most famous awards ceremony, the Oscars - voted to strip Weinstein of his membership at a point when over 30 women had come forward to accuse him of sexual harassment and assault.
At the time of their decision, the Metropolitan Police had announced that they were assessing one official complaint against Weinstein while the New York Police Department were “conducting a review to determine if there are any additional complaints relating to the Harvey Weinstein matter”. He has not been arrested or charged on any counts.
It didn’t take long for commentators - including Twitter users, famous faces and late-night show hosts - to point out that that the Academy’s decision “to separate ourselves from someone who does not merit the respect of his colleagues” could be seen as problematic, given that Roman Polanski, Bill Cosby and Mel Gibson remain members.
Numerous Twitter users jumped on the fact that director Polanski is still part of the Academy, as soon as the Weinstein decision was announced:
The director pleaded guilty to a charge of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor in 1977, and did not attend his sentencing, choosing to leave the US instead. Living mostly in France, he has avoided extradition back to the States since.
Bill Cosby’s name has also been mentioned by critics, with many pointing out that he held on to his Academy membership when over 50 women accused him of sexual misconduct:
In June, he stood trial on three counts of aggravated indecent assault and a mistrial - meaning he was neither convicted or acquitted - was declared when the jury failed to reach a verdict after over 52 hours of deliberating.
While Woody Allen’s name has been mentioned multiple times, he is not a member of the Academy.
‘Last Week Tonight’ host John Oliver also namechecked Mel Gibson and Casey Affleck in his monologue on the matter when opening the programme on Sunday (15 October).
Gibson pleaded no contest - meaning he technically neither denied or admitted the crime - to a charge of battery after being accused of hitting his then-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva, while Casey settled two sexual misconduct cases out of court.
“Yes, finally - the group that counts among its current members Roman Polanski, Bill Cosby and Mel Gibson has found the one guy who treated women badly and kicked him out,” Oliver said. “So congratulations, Hollywood.
“See you at the next Oscars where - and this is true - Casey Affleck will be presenting Best Actress.”
As it stands, Weinstein has also been removed from the board of his own company, with his Bafta membership also being suspended. As of Monday (16 October), British police are investigating five allegations against him.
Weinstein has “unequivocally denied” any allegations of non-consensual relationships.