THE PRESIDENT of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the body which hands out the Oscars, is being investigated for sexual harassment, US media reported on Friday.

The trade publication Variety and CBS News said the Academy immediately opened an investigation after receiving three harassment claims against John Bailey last Wednesday. In response, the Academy issued a statement saying that it “treats any complaints confidentially to protect all parties.”

The group’s membership committee “reviews all complaints brought against Academy members according to our Standards of Conduct process, and after completing reviews, reports to the Board of Governors.” It added: “We will not comment further on such matters until the full review is completed.”

In December, the Academy adopted a code of conduct for its members.

Bailey, 75, a cinematographer whose credits include Groundhog Day and The Big Chill, was elected to a four-year term as head of the Academy in August. Bailey’s brief tenure has been marked by the birth of the #MeToo movement started by actress Alyssa Milano and which went global, highlighting accusations of sexual abuse.

At a February lunch for this year’s Oscar nominees, Bailey promised the Academy would adopt a “greater awareness and responsibility in balancing gender, race, ethnicity, and religion.” — AFP