Roman Polanski Win at French Oscars Prompts Walkouts
The French equivalent of the Oscars are known as the Cesars, and they took place last night in Paris. The top prize when to Les Miserables, a well-received French drama that was released here in the United States by Amazon Studios. But the big story was the actresses who left the ceremony after Roman Polanski won the Best Director prize for his film, An Officer and a Spy.
The anger directed at Polanski stems from his conviction for statutory rape in the 1970s. Polanski pled guilty to having sex with a 13-year-old girl, but left the country before he could be sentenced. He remains a fugitive from justice in the United States, but has been able to live and work in France for decades.
Above you see Noémie Merlant (center) and Adèle Haenel (right) as they left the ceremony after Polanski won for Best Director. Here’s video of Haenel leaving the show:
Polanski was not in attendance, claiming in a statement to CNN that he did not want to "face a self-proclaimed court of opinion ready to trample on the principles of the rule of law so that the irrational can once again triumph unchallenged.”
Haenel was far from the only one unhappy with the award. According to CNN, the Cesars host, “Florence Foresti, later posted an Instagram story with a black screen and the word: ‘Disgusted.’” She also asked “the audience not to applaud when she listed [Polanski’s] nomination.” In addition, there were also protests outside the awards venue.
While An Officer and a Spy premiered last summer at the Venice Film Festival, the film — which stars Jean Dujardin and Louis Garrel — has yet to receive distribution here in the United States.
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