Published Dec 7, 2017 Updated May 22, 2021, 8:45 am CDT
The letter emphasizes that Academy membership is a “privilege” awarded to people who achieve great things in movies, yes, but who also “behave ethically by upholding the Academy’s values of respect and human dignity” in the workplace. The Academy doesn’t mince words with its intentions, either, specifically stating there is “no place” in the organization for people “who abuse their status, power or influence in a manner that violates recognized standards for decency.”
Hudson noted in her email: “Over the course of weeks, the task force consulted with professors of ethics, business, philosophy, and law from Georgetown, Harvard, Notre Dame, and Stanford, as well as experts in human resources and sexual harassment. We met with our counterparts at the Television Academy and BAFTA, and, for reference, we also reviewed the codes of conduct of other organizations, including AFI, Film Independent, and UCLA.”
How the new standards will be enforced is yet to be seen, and Hudson acknowledged in her email that the process of reviewing members’ behavior is only just beginning.
“Much remains to be done,” she wrote. “The task force will finalize procedures for handling allegations of misconduct, assuring that we can address them fairly and expeditiously… Those procedures will be sent to you in the new year.”
It’s a public show of solidarity from the biggest (and most prestigious) American movie institution out there.
Here are the full, new standards of conduct:
Academy membership is a privilege offered to only a select few within the global community of filmmakers. In addition to achieving excellence in the field of motion picture arts and sciences, members must also behave ethically by upholding the Academy’s values of respect for human dignity, inclusion, and a supportive environment that fosters creativity. The Academy asks that members embrace their responsibility to affirm these principles and act when these principles are violated. There is no place in the Academy for people who abuse their status, power or influence in a manner that violates recognized standards of decency. The Academy is categorically opposed to any form of abuse, harassment or discrimination on the basis of gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, disability, age, religion, or nationality. The Board of Governors believes that these standards are essential to the Academy’s mission and reflective of our values.
If any member is found by the Board of Governors to have violated these standards or to have compromised the integrity of the Academy by their actions, the Board of Governors may take any disciplinary action permitted by the Academy’s Bylaws, including suspension or expulsion.
Christine Friar is a writer and editor in New York who focuses on streaming entertainment and internet culture. Her work has appeared in the Awl, the Fader, New York Magazine, Paper Magazine, Vogue, Elle, and more.