is suing the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences after being expelled from the organisation last week.
In a letter to the academy, Polanski’s lawyer, Harland Braun, said it failed to follow its own rules or California law by not allowing Polanski a chance 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,” Braun wrote, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The 84-year-old director of Rosemary’s Baby was last week expelled from the academy, which in 2003 awarded him the best-director Oscar for The Pianist. The academy also expelled the actor Bill Cosby. The expulsions were decided in light of sexual assault cases against the two men.
Polanski dismissed the MeToo movement as “mass hysteria” and “hypocrisy” in a Polish interview carried out before he was expelled from the Oscars academy.
Asked what he thinks of the movie industry’s recent reckoning with sexual harassment, Polanski told this week’s edition of Newsweek Polska: “I think this is the kind of mass hysteria that occurs in society from time to time.
“Sometimes it’s very dramatic, like the French Revolution or the St Bartholomew’s Day massacre in France, or sometimes it’s less bloody, like 1968 in Poland or McCarthyism in the US..
“Everyone is trying to back this movement, mainly out of fear … I think it’s total hypocrisy.”
Polanski, a dual Polish and French citizen who lives in France, is wanted in the US for the 1977 rape of Samantha Geimer. He has for years sought to negotiate a deal in the case with US authorities.
Geimer, who has said in the past that she has forgiven Polanski, dismissed the Academy’s move to expel him as “an ugly and cruel action which serves only appearance”.
Polanski himself called the decision last week “the height of hypocrisy”, according to his lawyer Jan Olszewski.
Olszewski added that comparing Polanski to Bill Cosby, who was also expelled from the Academy for sexual assault, was “a total misunderstanding and harassment”.