The Depardieu Affair: A New Tribune

New episode in the controversy in France around Gerard Depardieu, indicted for rape and subject of another complaint for sexual assault. Earlier this week, 56 cultural personalities signed an op-ed in support of the actor, calling for respect for the presumption of innocence, stressing that "attacking Gérard Depardieu in this way" was tantamount to "attacking art". A controversial stance that prompted the publication of a counter-tribune yesterday Friday by 600 artists.

Actor Gérard Depardieu (pictured here in February 2021) is at the center of a court case and controversy. © AFP

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When we attack Depardieu, it would be art that we would attack! As if Depardieu represented art in France. As if the status of artist or talent justified a singular treatment," said the 600 signatories, including the singer Angèle, the comedian Waly Dia and the rapper Médine. The op-ed was published by the left-wing collective Brains Not Available, on a blog hosted on the Mediapart website.


An op-ed to read here:

— Counterattack (@ContreAttaque_) December 29, 2023 In their sights, the tribune in support of the actor, but also the words of Emmanuel Macron who had insisted ten days ago, invited on the France 5 channel on the presumption of innocence, denouncing a "manhunt" and assuring that Depardieu "made the France proud": for the signatories, these are "so many spittles in the face of Gérard Depardieu's victims but also of all victims of sexist and sexual violence. It's the sinister and perfect illustration of the world before that refuses to let things change."

Read alsoGérard Depardieu: artists denounce a "lynching" of the actor, feminist associations react

These artists also want, they say, "for justice to do its job", but they consider that "faced with the lack of serious consideration of the victims" by the police and judicial institutions, "it is everyone's duty to refuse the trivialisation of words and acts such as those of Gérard Depardieu". Hence their call, in the face of "complicit silence", they say, to "break the echo of impunity". He concludes, "The production of art is not an abstraction outside of social dynamics."

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