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Roman Polanski sues Academy Awards organisation over his dismissal

The director regarded the MeToo movement as "mass hysteria" before his expulsion

Ilana Kaplan
Wednesday 09 May 2018 16:03 BST
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Roman Polanski.
Roman Polanski. (Credit: Getty)

Director Roman Polanski has sued the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences following his dismissal from the organisation last week.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Polanski's lawyer, Harland Braun, says the state of California didn't abide by its own rules by not giving the director the opportunity to defend himself.

"We are not here contesting the merits of the expulsion decision, but rather your organisation’s blatant disregard of its own standards of conduct in, as well as its violations of the standards required by California corporations code," writes Braun.

Polanski called the decision of the Academy "the height of hypocrisy"

The lawsuit comes after the 84-year-old director was dismissed from the Academy, which had given him the best-director Oscar for The Pianist in 2003.

At the same time, actor Bill Cosby was dismissed from the organisation.

Both men were expelled because of the sexual assault cases against them.

Polanski's other lawyer Jan Olszewski called the director's comparison to Cosby "a total misunderstanding and harassment."

Before Polanski was removed from the Academy, Polanski criticised the MeToo movement as "mass hysteria" and "hypocrisy" in an interview with the Polish edition of Newsweek.

He made this remark when asked what he thinks about the movie industry's takedown of sexual harassment saying, "I think this is the kind of mass hysteria that occurs in society from time to time."

Polanski later added: "Everyone is trying to back this movement, mainly out of fear ... I think it's total hypocrisy."

Currently Polanski is still wanted for the 1977 rape of Samantha Geimer.

For decades, the director - who has dual Polish and French citizenship - has attempted to negotiate a deal with the US for the charges.

Geimer - who has previously said she forgives the director - called the Academy's decision "an ugly and cruel action which serves only appearance."

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