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May 03, 2018

Bill Cosby expelled from the Academy following guilty verdict

Cosby and director Roman Polanski have both been expelled

Entertainment Bill Cosby
Bill Cosby David Swanson/Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS via SIPA

In this file photo, Bill Cosby is arraigned at Montgomery County District Court in Cheltenham, Pa., on Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2015.

Comedian Bill Cosby and director Roman Polanski have been expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as of Thursday following a vote by its board of governors earlier this week.

Cosby, 80, was found guilty just last week of sexually assaulting Philadelphia’s Andrea Constand, a former Temple University employee. The verdict is one of the first high-profile cases in the #MeToo movement that has ended with a conviction.

Polanski has been a fugitive from the U.S. since 1978 when he fled while awaiting a sentencing for statutory rape. Polanski's lawyer, Harland Braun, told Vanity Fair Thursday night Polanski will attempt to appeal the Academy's decision. 

Cosby and Polanski are the first members expelled for violating Standards of Conduct the Academy adopted this past December, after hundreds of accusations of sexual harassment and assault had been made in the entertainment industry. Perhaps the most noteworthy is that of Harvey Weinstein, who was expelled from the Academy in October.

“The Board continues to encourage ethical standards that require members to uphold the Academy’s values of respect for human dignity,” the Academy said in a statement.