Early Friday morning, actor Asia Argento, who has become vocal within the #MeToo movement after detailing her own experience being assaulted by Harvey Weinstein in 1997, tweeted extensively about her her time working with the film director Catherine Breillat.[ . . . ]
Throughout the Cesar Awards ceremony Friday night, presenters and winners referenced the movement that has campaigned for an end to abuses by powerful men.
And the packed concert hall stood in ovation as the presenter called on everyone to support the #MaintenantOnAgit (Now We Act) campaign launched this week, aimed at raising money to help women pursue legal complaints against abusers.
Anger over sexual violence and demands for gender equality in the cinema industry charged the atmosphere around this year’s Cesars – much like around the Oscars coming up Sunday in Hollywood.
Instead of wearing black – as actors in the U.S. and Britain have done at recent awards shows – French stars chose to wear a white ribbon to make their statement.
So did special guests like Penelope Cruz, given a special award for her career’s work.
“The entire world is talking about this, it’s not only a problem of our industry, but of all industries and of any woman who does not have the opportunity to have a microphone in front of her as I have myself,” she told reporters.
The most Cesar awards went to the AIDS drama “120 Beats Per Minute,” which took six prizes, including best film. Directed by Robin Campillo, the movie centers on the activist group ACT UP in Paris in the 1990s at the height of the AIDS crisis.
Producer Marie-Ange Luciani hailed the social change since that era, including growing acceptance of gay marriage. She also had a message for those disconcerted by the turmoil prompted by the #MeToo movement that started in Hollywood with sexual abuse accusations against producer Harvey Weinstein.
“Don’t be afraid of what will happen. This moment is not a threat. It is a promise. And history will show we are right,” she said.
France’s entertainment industry has seen divisions over the #MeToo movement, with Catherine Deneuve notably saying it had gone too far.
No one at the Cesars publicly said anything similar.
The ceremony’s president, Vanessa Paradis – singer and actress and Johnny Depp’s ex-wife – set the tone by opening the show saying: “I am wearing this white ribbon for the fight against violence against women.”
More than 100 personalities, including actress Sandrine Bonnaire, director Agnes Jaoui and actor-director Julie Gayet, asked for donations destined for associations helping women pursue cases before justice, “so that no woman ever again has to say #MeToo.”
French film stars including Juliet Binoche called in a proposal in newspaper Le Monde on Friday for quotas to guarantee that more government film subsidies go to movies directed by women.
The ceremony was dedicated to Jeanne Moreau, the smoky-voiced femme fatale of the French New Wave who died last year, known for her distinctive blend of sensuality, intellect and resolve.
Best actress winner Jeanne Balibar praised actresses for supporting each other amid discrimination, injustice and abuses. “Despite our differences and our competition, we hold on.”
In addition to a white ribbon, actorBlanche Gardin wore a pin with the picture of comedian Louis C.K., accused of sexual harassment, and earned laughter with a sarcastic plea:
“Producers no longer have the right to rape actresses . But do we still have the right to sleep with them to get roles?” she asked. “Because if we don’t, then we have to learn our lines, pass auditions, and we don’t have the time. You realize how much time that takes?”
A collective of 100 prominent French women including famed actress Catherine Deneuve have denounced the puritanism that followed in the wake of allegations against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein, declaring that men should be free to hit on women [ . . . ]
PARIS — Even as the Harvey Weinstein scandal has forced Americans to confront the reality of sexual harassment and assault, it has more than touched a nerve here in France.In a country where flirting is a way of life, and where a unique blend of Gallic machismo and age-old codes of chivalry can be seen in virtually every corner cafe, women, it would seem, have had enough.A social media campaign erupted here almost simultaneously with the appearance of #MeToo in the United States — except French women took it further with #balancetonporc, which loosely translated means “squeal on your pig.” As in the United States, after women began naming and shaming their attackers, some of the most prominent men in French public life stood accused of sexual assault [ . . . ] More at: Weinstein scandal sparks an uproar in France – The Washington Post
By Michael Stevenson
I read today that a Suffolk University/Boston Globe poll found that 91 percent of women (in the U.S.) called workplace sexual harassment a problem, along with 81 percent of men.
This must change, and I am not going to write that I am a husband and father to a young woman, because if I were father to a male hedgehog, I would still demand that women should be able to work and live their lives without being sexually harassed.
It is disgusting that in Donald Trump, America elected a president who boasted of assaulting women.
Actress Emma Thompson recently spoke out about predators Harvey Weinstein and Trump: “I didn’t know about these things, but they don’t surprise me at all, and they’re endemic to the system,” Thompson, said during an interview with BBC Newsnight.
“What I find sort of extraordinary is that this man is at the top of a very particular iceberg, you know he’s — I don’t think you can describe him as a ‘sex addict,’ he’s a predator. But what he’s, as it were, at the top of the ladder of is a system of harassment, and belittling, and bullying, and interference, and what my mother would have referred to in the old days as ‘pestering.’”
“‘Is he pestering you?’ That’s the word we used to use in the olden days, if you recall. This has been part of our world, women’s world, since time immemorial. So what we need to start talking about is the crisis in masculinity, the crisis of extreme masculinity, which is this sort of behavior, and the fact that it is not only OK, but it also is represented by the most powerful man in the world at the moment,” Thompson added, seemingly referencing Donald Trump.
Bravo to that, Emma!
Not only Hollywood actresses, but thousands of women around the globe are now speaking out about sexual harassment and they are holding accountable the reputation of employers and entire industries.
What a great lesson it would be to hold accountable the most powerful predator in the United States – Donald Trump? He has been ‘pestering’ for too long. His time is up.