Roman Polanski 'French Oscar' nomination sparks outrage
The 86-year-old director has been a controversial figure since he fled the United States in 1978 before he could be sentenced for the crime of unlawful sex with a minor
Roman Polanski’s new film has received 12 nominations at the César Awards — the French equivalent of the Oscars — drawing ire on social media.
An Officer and a Spy, which was released in France as J’Accuse, tells the story of the 19th century Dreyfus Affair, in which a French army officer was wrongly imprisoned for leaking military secrets.
The movie is the leading nominee at the Césars, with its nods including Best Film and a Best Director nomination for Polanski.
Alain Terzian, who runs the awards, defended the nominations, stating that the voting body “should not take moral positions” when handing out their prizes.
The 86-year-old director of Rosemary’s Baby has been a controversial figure since he fled the United States in 1978 before he could be sentenced for the crime of unlawful sex with a minor, to which he had pleaded guilty. He has since had multiple allegations of sexual assault leveled at him, with French actress Valentine Monnier accusing him last year of raping her at a Swiss ski chalet in 1975.
The premiere of An Officer and a Spy in Paris was targeted by protesters, with Polanski ultimately leaving via the side door to avoid the crowds.
French feminist group Osez Le Féminisme condemned the Césars for dishing out nominations to Polanski. The group also referred to actress Adèle Haenel — a César nominee for Portrait of a Lady on Fire — who alleged she was sexually assaulted by director Christophe Ruggia when she was making her debut film at the age of 12.
Ruggia has denied the allegations against him, but was formally charged by Paris prosecutors earlier this month.