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LAPD Investigating Academy Museum Creative Director for Sexual Assault

The Academy Museum has been dealt a lengthy series of setbacks before its much-delayed opening in April 2021.

Anne Thompson

The Los Angeles Police Department is investigating the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures creative director Peter Castro for sexual assault allegations. In a statement, an Academy Museum spokesperson made clear that the police informed them of the investigation and the alleged conduct took place outside the workplace. The unnamed accuser has no Academy museum affiliation. “We will reserve further comment while this is being investigated by law enforcement authorities.”

A New York commercial photographer and graphic designer, Castro joined the Academy Museum in July 2019, after seven years as a designer and production manager at New York’s Guggenheim Museum. The Academy Museum spokesperson declined to state whether Castro is still working for the museum at this time.

The Museum has confronted a lengthy series of setbacks, from design changes — two theaters instead of three — and the restoration and adaptation of the May Company landmark building at Wilshire and Fairfax, as well as complications in erecting architect Renzo Piano’s glass sphere. (New museum director Bill Kramer is taking it over the finish line.)

The Academy Museum

Courtesy ©Academy Museum Foundation

The pandemic provided another setback. Construction work on the site halted, with the museum staff directing ongoing activity from home. In June, the Academy Board of Governors pushed back yet again the opening of the Museum, which was planning to open on December 14, but will now be unveiled on April 17, 2021 ahead of the April 25 Oscars, and then to the public on April 30.

While the Academy Museum kept citing its “original” budget of $388 million, the actual figure was closer to $482 million. To bridge the $100 million shortfall, the Museum recently issued almost $100 million in new debt on top of its February $100 million bond offering.

Adding to all the Museum’s bad luck, just last week Universal studio chief Ron Meyer exited the Academy Museum board after his untimely exit from NBCUniversal over an alleged extortion attempt, which is now being investigated by the FBI.

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