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Leadership of 'French Oscars' resigns amid Polanski controversy

  • Published at 09:02 pm February 14th, 2020
Polanski
Roman Polanski Collected

The resignations come just two weeks before the Cesar Awards, France’s equivalent of the Oscars, which featured 12 nominations for Polanski’s movie

The management of the “French Oscars” resigned en masse on Thursday after weeks of controversy centered on director Roman Polanski, whose latest film “An Officer and a Spy” leads nominations ahead of the 2020 awards ceremony.

The resignations come just two weeks before the Cesar Awards, France’s equivalent of the Oscars, which featured 12 nominations for Polanski’s movie.

“To honour those who made films in 2019, to regain serenity and make the cinema festival a celebration, the board of directors made a unanimous decision to resign,” the French film academy said in a statement.

Feminist groups had decried the nominations and called for a boycott of the film. Dozens of film industry personalities had denounced the academy’s “opaqueness” in an open letter.

Polanski launched his new film in France last year just days after a French actress accused him of having raped her in 1975, when she was 18 years old. Polanski, now 86, has denied the accusation.

The French-Polish director fled the United States after pleading guilty in 1977 to having unlawful sex with a 13-year-old girl in Los Angeles.

Polanski was expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 2018.