Culture Minister Franck Riester reiterated on Saturday that "celebrating" Roman Polanski, who received the award for best achievement Friday night at the Cesars, was a "bad signal", adding that he "could understand" the reaction "of anger "of actress Adèle Haenel.
"I had said even before the surrender of this Caesar during the day that it would be a bad signal sent to the population, to women, to all those who fight against sexual and gender-based assault, that there should be the surrender of the best achievement at Roman Polanski, "said Franck Riester on Europe 1.
Filmmaker Roman Polanski, targeted by rape charges, received the Best Achievement Award at the 45th Cesar Awards on Friday night for his film "J'accuse", which sparked outrage among actress Adèle Haenel, who left the room, where Franck Riester was.
"As Minister of Culture, I fight every day so that works are protected, that freedom of creation is sanctuarized. This is the reason why I opposed that the film of Polanski be boycotted , I don't believe in boycotting the works, "he said.
But "the difficulty with this award of César (...) to Roman Polanski is that we are not just celebrating the work, we are also celebrating the man", commented Mr. Riester.
Asked about the reaction of Adèle Haenel, symbol of a new impetus of #MeToo in France, he said that he could "understand that a woman who has been sexually assaulted has a reaction of incomprehension, even anger, to see that the Academy of Caesar valued a man whose history leaves many doubts ".
"I think that the Academy of Caesar must be transformed, must not forget that each time a Caesar is awarded, there is certainly artistic recognition but there is also a message that is sent to society" , insisted the Minister.
For its part, in a press release entitled "Shame", the collective #NousToutes estimated that the Academy of Caesar, by rewarding Roman Polanski, "literally spit on the faces of victims of pedophile violence, in the face of victims of sexual violence and, more broadly, in the face of millions of women in this country. "
"We will be in the street on Sunday March 8 (International Women's Day) to say again that we want to put an end to all gender-based and sexual violence. And that neither the Academy of Caesar nor those who support them will stop us ", adds the feminist organization.
© 2020 AFP