Awards, THR Online, USA

Bill Mechanic Resigns From Academy Board of Governors

He had represented the executives branch on the 54-member board.

Bill Mechanic, the veteran producer and former studio chief, has resigned his position on the board of governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, where he has been one of three governors representing the Academy’s executives branch.

Mechanic, who remains a member of the Academy itself, notified the board by letter last week that he was resigning, he confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter, but he declined to discuss his reasons for doing so.

While he would not address the reasons for his resignation, he had earlier expressed reservations about the Academy’s new code of conduct and its enforcement mechanism. In December, in an interview with Vanity Fair, Mechanic suggested the issue “should be left to the companies people work for and to the police. Six months ago, all the moral police were silent. Was it wrong for people to be silent six months ago? Yes. Is it wrong to go overboard now? Yes. What you want is rationality to the process.”

Mechanic, who received a best picture Oscar nomination as a producer of 2016’s Hacksaw Ridge, currently serves as CEO of Pandemonium Films. He previously held posts as chairman and CEO of Fox Filmed Entertainment and various executive roles at Disney.

The Academy on Tuesday responded with a statement in which it said, “The Academy thanks William Mechanic for his five years of service on the Board of Governors, where he represented the members of the Executives Branch.”

Mechanic, who served a previous term on the board, rejoined the board in 2016. Along with Adam Shankman, he also produced the 82nd Academy Awards, which were held in 2010.

Following its expulsion of disgraced mogul Harvey Weinstein in October, the Academy adopted a new ‘standards of conduct” for its members and then in January approved new procedures for enforcing the code of conduct, which involved the membership and rules committee reviewing reports of workplace misconduct and then forwarding such claims on to the full academy board for possible action is deemed warranted.

The first Academy member against whom a complaint was lodged was current Academy president John Bailey, who was cleared of any wrongdoing by the board of governors last month.

April 17, 12:10 p.m. Updated with Academy statement.

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