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Television Academy sets new standards of professional conduct

One key document that has taken on added resonance with recent events is the Television Academy's Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct

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The Television Academy is participating as a member of the Commission on Sexual Harassment and Advancing Equality in the Workplace.
The Television Academy is participating as a member of the Commission on Sexual Harassment and Advancing Equality in the Workplace. Wikimedia Commons
  • Chairman Hayma Washington sent a letter to Academy members, linking to the two-page code of conduct
  • Violations of the code may result in disciplinary action
  • One key document that has taken on added resonance with recent events is the Television Academy’s Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct

Following the lead of the film academy and other Hollywood guilds, the Television Academy has established its own new code of ethics and standards of professional conduct.

Chairman Hayma Washington sent a letter to Academy members, linking to the two-page code of conduct, reports variety.com.

The document read: “The Academy has zero tolerance for discrimination or harassment, as well as illegal, dishonest or unethical conduct. The Academy will not tolerate, condone, or ignore unethical conduct and is committed to enforcing these standards at all levels.”

Violations of the code may result in disciplinary action, “up to and including being refused admission or ejected from an event, being barred from future events, or the suspension or expulsion of membership”.

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In the wake of the sexual harassment allegations against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein, the Academy voted in November to permanently expel him from their ranks.

The letter read: “As we recently announced, the Television Academy has taken the last year to review and revise several of its governing documents.

One key document that has taken on added resonance with recent events is the Television Academy’s Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct.

In the wake of the sexual harassment allegations against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein, the Academy voted in November to permanently expel him from their ranks.
In the wake of the sexual harassment allegations against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein, the Academy voted in November to permanently expel him from their ranks. Wikimedia Commons

“The watershed events of the past months gave new urgency for us to revisit and revise these ethical guidelines, leaving no doubt as to the conduct and the behaviours the Television Academy expects from its leadership, members and staff. Below, we are providing a link to the revised Code of Conduct that was recently approved by your Board of Governors. Please give it a thorough read.

“The Television Academy is also proud to be participating as a member of a new industry organisation, the Commission on Sexual Harassment and Advancing Equality in the Workplace.

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“Like the Motion Picture Academy, Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG/AFTRA) and other members of the Commission, we are committed to achieving and supporting safer, more equitable and accountable workplaces.

Our revised Academy guidelines make clear that we expect nothing less from Academy leadership, members and staff than respectful conduct and behaviours that foster and maintain environments free of disruption, abuse, discrimination and harassment of others – during and outside of Academy events. This Code of Conduct is an acknowledgement that all of us share the responsibility for upholding a positive, professional, inclusive and supportive environment for our Academy business and member activities.” (IANS)

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Oscar Nominees Furious Over Exclusion From Telecast

Rachael Stanley, the Executive Director of the Costume Designers Guild, lamented the loss of attention for her guild's industry siblings

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Hollywood filmmakers like Alfonso Cuaron and Guillermo del Toro and leading craftspeople have condemned a decision by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to hand out four awards during commercial breaks in the hope of trimming the shows (Oscars) run time.

Nominees and their colleagues from the commercial-banished categories of cinematography, make-up and hairstyling, film editing, and live action shorts slammed the decision in interviews and via heated posts on social media, reports variety.com.

“I find it depressing that they are doing this. Hopefully it won’t be like the part of the show where they play clips from the Sci-Tech awards dinner. That always feels a bit sad, like they didn’t get invited to the real party,” said cinematographer Caleb Deschanel, a nominee this year for “Never Look Away”.

Deschanel is referencing the Academy’s annual Scientific and Technical Awards, held two weeks before the Oscars and typically hosted by a celebrity, which honours technical achievement in film.

Deschanel has been nominated six times stretching back to 1983’s “The Right Stuff”, but has yet to win.

Filmmaker Alfonso Cuaron, a multiple-nominee for producing, directing, writing and cinematography for “Roma”, criticised the Academy’s decision.

“In the history of cinema, masterpieces have existed without sound, without colour, without a story, without actors and without music. No one single film has ever existed without cinematography and without editing,” wrote Cuaron.

Three-time Oscar winner Emmanuel Lubezki called it “an unfortunate decision”.

Oscar winner Guillermo del Toro said he “would not presume to suggest what categories to cut during the Oscars show but cinematography and editing are at the very heart of our craft”.

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An Oscar Award.

“They are not inherited from a theatrical tradition or a literary tradition. They are cinema itself,” del Toro said.

Drake Doremus, indie director behind the late Anton Yelchin’s “Like Crazy”, even called for a “boycott”.

In a memo outlining the changes, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President John Bailey said representatives from categories that were shunted off to the commercial breaks volunteered to have their award presented off-camera.

However, the board members who represent those crafts don’t speak for the unions or guild membership.

The show’s director, Glenn Weiss, will determine what emotionally resonant moments from the four speeches make it to air later in the broadcast, according to an individual close to the production.

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The show will cut any comment from presenters, as well as any recitation of the nominees, said the insider. While Bailey said the speeches will air in their entirety, that may not be the case on the big night as broadcasters reserve the right to cut them, the source said.

“This decision could be perceived as a separation and division of this creative process, thus minimising our fundamental creative contributions,” said Kees van Oostrum, President of American Society of Cinematographers, in a statement on Tuesday.

“To find out so close to the actual awards that you’ll be in the commercial break, it’s disappointing,” Lee Smith, last year’s film editing winner for “Dunkirk”, said.

Rachael Stanley, the Executive Director of the Costume Designers Guild, lamented the loss of attention for her guild’s industry siblings. (IANS)