Rolf Harris Stripped of Industry Honors in U.K., Australia
SYDNEY – Disgraced Australian entertainer Rolf Harris has been stripped of two major awards following his conviction on 12 counts of indecent assault against four girls in the United Kingdom between 1968 and 1986.
Harris on Tuesday was stripped of his membership in the ARIA (Australian Recording Industry Association) Hall of Fame, Australian music’s highest honor, as well as his fellowship in BAFTA (the British Academy of Film and Television Arts).
The 84-year old will be sentenced on Friday, but he has been warned by the judge in the case that he will be sent to prison after the unanimous verdict against him.
Harris was inducted into the ARIA Hall Of Fame in 2008 along with Australian acts Dragon, Max Merritt, Russell Morris and The Triffids. Harris is the first Australian entertainer to be stripped of the honor. Other honorees in the ARIA Hall of Fame include INXS, The Bee Gees, Slim Dusty, AC/DC, Men at Work, Cold Chisel, Nick Cave and Midnight Oil.
ARIA CEO Dan Rosen said in a statement. “Following his conviction in U.K. courts, the ARIA board has made the decision to withdraw the ARIA Hall of Fame award bestowed upon Rolf Harris.”
That follows BAFTA stripping him of his fellowship.
“The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) has made the decision to annul the BAFTA Fellowship bestowed upon Rolf Harris in 2012 following his conviction,” a statement from BAFTA said.
Harris was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2012 for distinguished service to arts, charitable organizations and international relations.
He also became a Member of the Order of Australia in 1989, received the Centenary Medal in 2001, and has two levels of awards under the Order of the British Empire.
According to News Corp Australia, the Order of Australia council considers cases brought to its attention and can recommend cancelations to the Governor-General.
Harris is also the recipient of a CBE (Commander of the British Empire), awarded to him by Queen Elizabeth in 2006. Last year the Queen sat for Harris while he painted her portrait, commissioned by the BBC, to mark her 80th birthday.