Film director Roman Polanski plans to attend a Paris retrospective on his work tomorrow, and protestors will be there to greet him.
French feminist organization Osez le féminisme has organized a petition against Polanski’s appearance, and now plans a demonstration outside the Cinémathèque Francaise when the event opens on Monday, The Guardian reports.
The petition claimed Polanski’s appearance would be “indecent” and insulting to all the victims of sexual harassment mobilized by the recent #metoo online campaign. “It’s an affront to all rape victims, and particularly Polanski’s victims,” it read. “Polanski deserves dishonour, not honours.”
Polanski is still facing charges in the US of raping a 13-year-old girl, and another woman came forward this month alleging he raped her in 1972 when she was underage. Three other woman have also recently claimed Polanski molested them, leading to an outcry that he should be kicked out of any professional cinema organizations.
The feminist group’s petition also questioned the timing of the Cinémathèque honors in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandals and the resultant outcry against sexual harassment in the film industry.
Polanski has lived in Europe since fleeing the United States in the 1970s to avoid prosecution in the Samantha Geimer rape case. In January, he was forced to step down as host of the French equivalent of the Oscars, the Cesar awards, after 61,000 people signed a petition.
According to The Guardian, Greek-French director Costa-Gavras, the head of the Cinémathèque Française, claimed the institution could not judge Polanski or moralize, saying, “We don’t give out prizes or certificates for good behaviour. Our ambition is different: to show the complete work of film-makers and to place them in the permanent history of the Cinémathèque.”
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