He has been a fugitive from the USA criminal justice system, having fled the country while awaiting sentencing for statutory rape.
The Board of governors of the Academy voted for what their behavior does not comply with the ethical standards of the organization. In 2017, Renate Langer, a German actress, told Swiss authorities that Polanski raped her in 1972, when she was 15 - making her the fourth woman to publicly accuse Polanski.
Polanski, who lives in France, for his part is wanted in the United States for the statutory rape of a 13-year-old girl in 1977.
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According to today's announcement from the Academy, its Board of Governors met on Tuesday night and voted to oust Cosby and Polanski for not upholding its Standards of Conduct. The member then has 10 days to provide a written response, after which the committee may make a recommendation on discipline to the full board.
Cosby, a mainstay of American television for the second half of the 20th century, was never honored by the academy, but he co-starred in several feature-length comedies in the 1970s.
Despite the widespread media coverage of the case, Harrison Ford announced Polanski was voted Best Director at the ceremony and celebrities such as Weinstein, Meryl Streep, Martin Scorsese, Jack Nicholson, Adrien Brody and Nicolas Cage stood and applauded. This week's decision to expel him marks a major shift in the Academy's (and Hollywood's) attitude toward Polanski. To Weinstein, Cosby and Polanski is added Carmine Caridi, to whom organization cast in 2004 after it sent confidential and unpublished videos of a film to a friend.
Cosby's removal from the organization follows his recent conviction for aggravated indecent assault, and is the latest in a string of similar events. The organisation has in a way been forced into adopting this change as minorities in the industry - women, artists and technicians of colour question the Academy's archaic attitude of not calling out injustices - from racism to sexual abuse.