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Motion Picture Academy president accused of sexual harassment

Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images(HOLLYWOOD) — If change has to come from the top, then Hollywood may be in trouble.

Variety reports that John Bailey, the 75-year-old president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, has been accused of sexual harassment and the Academy is now investigating three different claims against him.

Last October, the Academy expelled Harvey Weinstein for alleged sexual misconduct and in December, it established new rules stating that members can be ejected for harassment, abuse or discrimination.  Earlier this month, the Academy, which hands out the Oscars, replaced Casey Affleck as a presenter on the awards telecast because he settled two sexual harassment lawsuits in 2010.

In a statement to ABC, the Academy said, “[We] treat any complaints confidentially to protect all parties. The Membership Committee reviews all complaints brought against Academy members according to our Standards of Conduct process, and after completing reviews, reports to the Board of Governors. We will not comment further on such matters until the full review is completed.”

Bailey is a former cinematographer who worked on movies like The Big Chill and Groundhog Day.  He was elected president this past August.  Variety reports that when he succeeded outgoing president Cheryl Boone Isaacs, there were concerns that as a 75-year-old white man, Bailey wasn’t the best choice to lead the Academy at a time when it was trying to diversify its membership.

When asked about that by Variety last year, he said, “What you just said is bulls***. I was born a white man, and I can’t help it that I’m 75 years old. Is this some sort of limiting factor?”

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