Arts academy condemns conduct of some members

NEW YORK — The American Academy of Arts and Letters condemned the "abhorrent" conduct of members facing sexual harassment allegations, but declined to take further action.

Authors Sherman Alexie and Garrison Keillor and architect Richard Meier are among the academy members who have been criticized, with Meier since removed from the Architectural League of New York and Keillor fired from Minnesota Public Radio. The academy board offered no comment on Tuesday beyond its statement.

"In the past few months, disturbing allegations of sexual harassment and assault have been leveled at prominent individuals in all walks of life," the statement said. "Such allegations have implicated several members of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. The alleged conduct is abhorrent and the Board of the Academy deplores it."

The academy is an honor society with a core membership of 250 writers, musicians, architects and visual artists. Founded in 1898, it rarely expels or reprimands members. Sculptor Hunt Diederich was kicked out in the 1940s for using the organization's letterhead to distribute anti-Semitic material.

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