John Bailey, a prominent cinematographer who led the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences during the crucial #MeToo movement, passed away at 81.
His wife, Carol Littleton, confirmed that Bailey peacefully passed away in his sleep in Los Angeles.
• John Bailey, a prominent cinematographer, president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and husband to Carol Littleton, passed away at 81.
• He worked on numerous films such as “Ordinary People,” “Groundhog Day,” and “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days.”
• During Bailey’s tenure, the Oscars faced falling ratings, diversity issues (#OscarsSoWhite), envelope flub & Harvey Weinstein sexual assault allegations.
• Despite criticism, Bailey believed in the Academy’s influence & impact which prompted professional debates & discussions.
• He championed change by introducing popular film awards & shortening telecasts but eventually abandoned these attempts.
• His legacy will continue to shape the Oscars while his wife Carol Littleton also left lasting contributions to the film industry.
Bailey had an impressive career, working on films like “Ordinary People,” “Groundhog Day,” and “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days.” He made history as the first cinematographer to serve as the president of the Academy, holding the position from 2017 to 2019.
During his tenure, Bailey faced numerous challenges in the film industry.
He took over when the Oscars struggled with falling ratings, diversity issues (#OscarsSoWhite), and the infamous envelope flub in 2017.
Additionally, the industry was rocked by scandalous reports of sexual assault allegations against Harvey Weinstein, which prompted a widespread reckoning about abuses of power. The Academy expelled Weinstein and implemented a code of conduct to address ethical violations.
Bailey himself was later accused of misconduct, but an Academy investigation found no evidence to support the allegation.
Despite the controversies, Bailey championed change and tried to adapt the Academy Awards to better reflect the industry.
However, his attempts to introduce a popular film award and shorten the telecast received backlash and were ultimately abandoned.
Bailey’s legacy will continue to shape the Oscars, as the institution strives to stay relevant in an ever-changing industry.
Despite criticism, Bailey believed that the Academy’s influence and impact were undeniable, prompting discussions and debates among industry professionals.
John Bailey leaves behind his wife, Carol Littleton, a former Academy governor and film editor. Littleton herself received an honorary Oscar, and both have left lasting contributions to the film industry.
The Oscars, like the industry it represents, must continue to evolve and honor excellence in filmmaking.