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Actresses Walk Out As Roman Polanski Wins Best Director At ‘French Oscars’


A number of actresses walked out of the Cesar awards ceremony in Paris early Saturday after French-Polish director Roman Polanski won best director.

This year’s Cesar awards – France’s equivalent of the Oscars – had been embroiled in controversy after Polanski’s film “An Officer and a Spy” received 12 nominations.

Polanski remains wanted in the United States for the statutory rape of a 13-year-old girl in 1977.

Earlier this month, the entire board of the Cesar Awards were forced to resign amid the furore that followed Polanski’s nominations.

Actress Adèle Haenel, who has said she was sexually abused as a child by another director, was one of the women who walked out of the ceremony after Polanski’s win was announced.

She left the room saying “shame!”, and was followed by director Céline Sciamma.

Actress and comedian Florence Foresti, who was presenting at the ceremony, did not return to the stage after Polanski’s award was announced. She later updated her Instagram story to a black screen with the word “disgusted”.

Hours before the ceremony began, France’s Culture Minister Franck Riester said it would be “symbolically bad” if Polanski were to win the prize for best director, “given the stance we must take against sexual and sexist violence”.

Protesters also gathered outside of the venue ahead of the awards.

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