French Oscars academy board resigns after Polanksi row

29 Février, 2020, 10:07 | Auteur: Christine Menetries
  • Polanski arrives at the Madeleine Church to attend a ceremony during a'popular tribute to late French singer and actor Johnny Hallyday in Paris

The entire board of the 'French Oscars' has resigned just two weeks ahead of the gala ceremony amid an angry row over Roman Polanski's inclusion.

Signatories included many of French cinema's brightest and best: actors Mathieu Almaric and Elodie Bouchez; directors Bertrand Tavernier and Jacques Audiard; and producer Michel Hazanavicius, who picked up the 2011 Best Picture Oscar for The Artist.

According to The Hollywood Reporter after the ceremony of the awards, which will be held on February 28, the Academy is waiting for reform: will elect a new Executive Board and appointed a mediator between the Academy and the Ministry of culture of France, who will become the curator of the reform.

His history has come under renewed scrutiny since the start of the #MeToo movement against sexual harassment in 2017.

The decision is unlikely, however, to impact the awards ceremony itself.

The statement said that the Board unanimously chose to resign to find peace and to prove that the film festival is simply a celebration.

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"This collective resignation will make it possible to proceed with the complete renewal of the management".

The Chinatown and Rosemary's Baby director fled the United States for France in 1977 after pleading guilty to having unlawful sex with a 13-year-old girl. The director has been wanted in the U.S. for statutory rape since 1978.

The film was released in France days after an actress accused Polanski of raping her in 1975, when she was 18.

Several interviews with actors Jean Dujardin and Louis Garrel were cancelled because of the controversy, but yet it did nothing to lessen the movie's meteoric rise to the top of the Cesar's nominations list.

The open letter from leading film industry figures, published late Monday in the French daily Le Monde, called for reform of the academy's statutes, "which have not changed for a very long time".

"To celebrate an abuser like Polanski is to support the system of impunity for male violence, and silence the voices of the victims", the letter said.

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