We recently reported that Roman Polanski was finally kicked out of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. We say “finally” because the basis for his expulsion was a decades-old case, where the filmmaker was convicted of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor. However, when he found that his agreed-upon plea deal was going to be revoked, and he would have been given jail time, he fled to Europe.
So, even in light of his undisputable guilt in regards to the court case, lawyers for Polanski are very vocal about their disapproval of the Academy’s recent ruling that saw the filmmaker being removed from the organization. Recently, we reported that the lawyers said that the Board of Governors’ ruling had shocked Polanski. But now, the lawyers for the director are threatening legal action if the ruling isn’t overturned.
“I am writing this letter to you to avoid unnecessary litigation,” a letter submitted by Polanski’s lawyers to the Academy reads (via Variety). “Mr. Polanski has a right to go to court and require your organization to follow its own procedures, as well as California law.”
“The only proper solution would be for your organization to rescind its illegal expulsion of Mr. Polanski and follow its own Standards of Conduct by giving Mr. Polanski reasonable notice of the charges against him and a fair hearing to present his position with respect to any proposed expulsion,” the letter continues.
According to his lawyers, Polanski should have been given adequate warning about the decision, with his opportunity to appeal. As we know, he wasn’t informed beforehand, so now his legal team is threatening a lawsuit. But that doesn’t mean they don’t understand the reasoning behind his expulsion. They just wanted it done by the book.
“We are not here contesting the merits of the expulsion decision, but rather your organization’s blatant disregard of its own Standards of Conduct in, as well as its violations of the standards required by California Corporations Code,” the letter states.
Does this mean anything will change? Unlikely. The Academy has the clear moral high-ground. However, maybe Polanski can find a loophole that will make the AMPAS sweat a little.