Oscars chief being investigated for sexual harassment

Academy President John Bailey is subject to an internal investigation following three charges of sexual harassment, accorting to US media reports on March 16, 2019. (AFP)
Updated 17 March 2018
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Oscars chief being investigated for sexual harassment

LOS ANGELES: 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 on 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.
He followed Cheryl Boone Isaacs, an African-American woman who had led the charge to increase racial diversity in the Academy. Her tenure included dealing with the social media-driven #OscarsSoWhite campaign and accusations of racism within the Academy.
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.
Harvey Weinstein, whose studio Miramax was behind hits such as “Shakespeare In Love” and “Pulp Fiction,” was expelled from the Academy in October following accusations of sexual harassment and abuse by dozens of women.
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.”
“The fossilized bedrock of many of Hollywood’s worst abuses are being jackhammered into oblivion,” he said.


Ethiopia says British museum must permanently return its artIfacts

Updated 56 min 14 sec ago
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Ethiopia says British museum must permanently return its artIfacts

  • The artifacts were plundered by British troops from the fortress of Emperor Tewodros II 150 years ago
  • Among the items on display at the Victoria and Albert Museum are sacred manuscripts and gold 

ADDIS ABABA: Britain must permanently return all artIfacts from Ethiopia held by the Victoria and Albert Museum and Addis Ababa will not accept them on loan, an Ethiopian government official said.
The call comes after the museum, one of London’s most popular tourist attractions, put Ethiopian treasures plundered by British forces on display.
“Well, it would be exciting if the items held at the V&A could be part of a long-term loan with a cultural institution in Ethiopia,” museum director Tristram Hunt said.
“These items have never been on a long-term loan in Ethiopia, but as we look to the future I think what we’re interested in are partnerships around conservation, interpretation, heritage management, and these need to be supported by government assistance so that institutions like the V&A can support sister institutions in Ethiopia.”
Among the items on display are sacred manuscripts and gold taken from the Battle of Maqdala 150 years ago, when British troops ransacked the fortress of Emperor Tewodros II.
The offer of a loan did not go far enough for Ethiopia.
“What we have asked (for) was the restitution of our heritage, our Maqdala heritage, looted from Maqdala 150 years ago. We presented our request in 2007 and we are waiting for it,” said government minister Hirut Woldemariam said.
Ephrem Amare, Ethiopian National Museum director, added: “It is clearly known where these treasures came from and whom they belong to. Our main demand has never been to borrow them. Ethiopia’s demand has always been the restoration of those illegally looted treasures. Not to borrow them.”
The V&A could not immediately be reached for further comment on Monday.
In launching the Maqdala 1868 exhibition of what Hunt called “stunning pieces with a complex history” this month, he said the display had been organized in consultation with the Ethiopian community in London.
“As custodians of these Ethiopian treasures, we have a responsibility to celebrate the beauty of their craftsmanship, shine a light on their cultural and religious significance and reflect on their living meaning, while being open about how they came to Britain,” he said in a blog on the museum website.