Roman Polanski Steps Down as President of César Awards Following Public Outcry
These days, Roman Polanski can’t go to the store for a loaf of bread without causing a controversy, but that’s what happens when you’re an internationally notorious sex offender exploiting legal loopholes to escape legal consequences for reprehensible actions. Since things heated up in America for the convicted child rapist, he‘s been cooling his heels in France, still making the occasional film as he attempts to stay out of the public eye. He raised quite a ruckus when he agreed to serve as the President of this year’s César Awards, the French equivalent of the Oscars. Now, the backlash has caught up with him.
There was a considerable outcry upon the announcement that Polanski would sit as President, with the expected response that the entertainment industry really, really needs to stop heaping praise and distinction upon a man who was legally punished for having sex with a minor against her will. Those outraged parties got their wish, however, as Deadline has reported that Polanski announced last night that he’d step down from his post as President.
Polanski’s attorney announced that the director of such films as Rosemary’s Baby and Chinatown would not serve as President, while also making the point that the pushback was “unjustified.” French feminist action group Osez Le Feminisme has spearheaded the campaign against Polanski, describing him as an “author of sexual violence who remains unpunished, protected by his celebrity status” and claiming to be “nauseated” by his appointment to the President position. In his prepared response, Polanski’s legal representation said that the director has been “deeply saddened” by the backlash, and that it had had “affected his family.”
Another President will be appointed soon, but for the moment, let‘s take a moment to observe a country willing to hold their sexual offenders at least relatively responsible for their actions. Only in Europe, folks.