The expulsions of Television’s Cosby and Oscar-winning director Polanski are the latest in the wake of the #MeToo social movement that began last year after Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein was accused by several women of sexual misconduct.

Bill Cosby and Roman Polanski
Bill Cosby and Roman Polanski (Reuters)

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said on Thursday that it has expelled actor Bill Cosby and film director Roman Polanski from its membership in light of the sexual assault cases against both men.

Cosby and Polanski are the first known members expelled for violating a code of conduct that the Academy adopted in December after several women accused the Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein of decades-long sexual misconduct, sparking the #MeToo social movement.

Weinstein was expelled in October by the Academy, following the accusations.

Before Weinstein, Actor Carmine Caridi was expelled in 2004 for distributing copies of films that are sent to academy members.

TRT World spoke to journalist Mary MacCarthy, who brings more from Los Angeles.

The Academy's board of governors met on Tuesday night and voted to strip both men of membership "in accordance with the organisation's Standards of Conduct," said a statement from the body, which hands out the Oscars.

"The Board continues to encourage ethical standards that require members to uphold the Academy's values of respect for human dignity," it added.

Cosby's wife slams prosecutor

Cosby, once the darling of American television, has been accused of sexual assault by dozens of women.

A 12-member Pennsylvania jury found the 80-year-old comedian guilty on three counts of sexual assault on April 26 for drugging and molesting Andrea Constand at his Philadelphia mansion in January 2004.

The wife of Bill Cosby on Thursday slammed as "mob justice" her husband's conviction by a US jury of sexual assault, attacking the media, prosecutors and his accuser in a tirade-laden statement.

"This is mob justice, not real justice," said Camille Cosby, who has been married to the disgraced megastar for more than half a century.

"This tragedy must be undone not just for Bill Cosby, but for the country," she added in a three-page statement, insisting her husband was innocent.

Camille Cosby called for a "criminal investigation" into the district attorney, accusing his office of an "unethical campaign."

Without naming her, she accused Constand of lying, and branded her testimony "unsupported by any evidence and riddled with innumerable, dishonest contradictions."

She also claimed "relentless demonization" by the media against her husband had "eliminated the possibility of a fair trial."

Couching her husband's treatment as a product of race discrimination, she cited "many tragic instances of our justice system utterly and routinely failing to protect African Americans falsely accused."

Cosby's wife appeared at his retrial only once, to hear closing statements from the defense.

Her husband remains at home on a $1 million bail, pending sentencing. Each count carries a maximum punishment of 10 years in jail.

His lawyers have vowed to appeal.

Polanski's underage sex case  

Polanski, 84, who won the best director Oscar in 2003 for World War Two drama "The Pianist," in 1977 admitted to having unlawful sex with a 13-year-old girl in Los Angeles.

The French-Polish director lives in France and fled the United States following his guilty plea for fear his deal with prosecutors would be overruled and he would get a lengthy prison term. Polanski's case is still ongoing.

Representatives of Cosby and Polanski did not immediately respond to requests seeking comment.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies