Academy defends decision to expel Roman Polanski amid lawsuit
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The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science on Friday defended its decision to expel director Roman Polanski after he filed a lawsuit claiming he was wrongly removed from the organization.

“The procedures taken to expel Mr. Polanski were fair and reasonable. The Academy stands behind its decision as appropriate,” an Academy spokesperson told Variety.

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Polanski filed a lawsuit demanding that the Academy reinstate him after he was removed in May because of a statutory rape charge from the 1970s.

The director reportedly said in the lawsuit that his exclusion “is not supported by findings, and the Academy’s findings are not supported by evidence.”

The Academy said last year that it removed him “in accordance with the organization’s Standards of Conduct." It added that members must “uphold the Academy’s values of respect for human dignity.”

Polanski was arrested in 1977 and accused of raping a 13-year-old girl. He has been living abroad to avoid incarceration.

He was removed from the Academy around the same time as others who were accused of sexual abuse, such as Bill Cosby, after their actions came under renewed scrutiny during the "Me Too" movement.