The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has launched an investigation against its president, John Bailey, for sexual harassment. Sources reveal that the Academy received three separate claims of harassment against John Bailey, and immediately launched an investigation into these claims. There is no word on how long this investigation may take, but it may lead to a rather short tenure as president for John Bailey.
Bailey was elected as the Academy's new president in August 2017, in a rather surprising turn of events, after actress Laura Dern took herself out of the running (she still serves as a governor of the acting branch). This lead to Bailey, one of the governors of the cinematographer's guild, beating veteran casting director David Rubin in the Academy president election. Bailey was the first "below the line" (crew member) president of the Academy since the 1980s, and he had often been vocally critical of Academy CEO Dawn Hudson and her leadership.
As for the allegations, no details have been released about the accusers or when the sexual misconduct took place. If the Academy forces Bailey to step down following their investigation, he will be temporarily replaced by veteran makeup artist Lois Burwell, the Academy's vice president, until the Academy's next election in July. Bailey was elected to a four-year term as president of the Academy, which has already been quite noteworthy, since his tenure has come as the Academy voted to expel Harvey Weinstein from its ranks, just the second time an Academy member has been expelled in history.
The Academy also set up a code of conduct in December, which states that members may be either disciplined or expelled for any type of abuse, harassment or discrimination. This process also set up a claims process that laid out how these allegations will be investigated. The claims are reviewed by the Academy's Membership and Administration committee, and if the allegations are proved to be credible, they will be forwarded to the Board of Governors where they will determine if any disciplinary actions will be taken.
John Bailey is a veteran cinematographer who has over 80 credits to his name, including Ordinary People, American Gigolo, The Big Chill, Silverado, The Accidental Tourist, Groundhog Day, My Blue Heaven, For the Love of the Game, Antitrust, Mad Money, The Forger, A Walk in the Woods and most recently How to Be A Latin Lover. He is also a noted film scholar and historian who has taken an interest in how the various crafts of film production will be represented in the Academy museum, which is currently in construction in Los Angeles, slated to open in 2019. His election was seen as a surprise to many after the four-year term of Cheryl Boone Isaacs, an African-American female who helped lead the Academy's push for more diversity in its ranks, with a goal of doubling its diverse members by 2020. Variety broke the news about this investigation into John Bailey for three separate sexual harassment claims.