Updated: Geoffrey Rush has stepped down as President of the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) until issues have been resolved.
“Certain recent media reports have made untenable allegations concerning my standing in the entertainment community. It is unreasonable that my professional colleagues should be somehow associated with such allegations,” Rush said in a statement to The Associated Press.
“In the circumstances, I have decided to step aside in my ambassadorial role as president of AACTA effective immediately and until these issues have been resolved,” he said.
“This decision has not been made lightly. However, in the current climate of innuendo and unjustifiable reporting, I believe the decision to make a clean break to clear the air is the best for all concerned.”
An AACTAs spokesperson said it accepted and respected Rush’s decision to voluntarily step aside as president.
“We have been deeply concerned about the situation and support a course of action that both respects Geoffrey’s rights to the presumption of innocence and due process, but also acknowledges good corporate governance in these circumstances.”
The AACTAs board has met to address an allegation surrounding AACTAs President Geoffrey Rush, this week.
Rush has denied the claim, which emerged via a Sydney Theatre Company production of King Lear, making headline on Wednesday.
The AACTAs board including Mark Morrissey, Noni Hazlehurst, Brian Walsh, Margaret Pomeranz and Alan Finney met to discuss the news but it is unclear how it may affect the annual awards on Wednesday.
Last month AACTAs said in a statement, “AACTA’s aim is to recognise, encourage, promote and celebrate film and television excellence in Australia. We also recognise our role in working with our members in upholding standards in our industry that we can all be proud of, including the provision of a safe and respectful workplace.”
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