In Brief

Roman Polanski says #MeToo movement is ‘mass hysteria’

Film director and convicted child rapist threatens to sue Movie Academy over ‘illegal’ expulsion

French-Polish film director Roman Polanski dismissed the #MeToo movement as “mass hysteria” in an interview shortly before he was expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, it has emerged.

The Academy, which organises the Oscars, kicked out the 84-year-old movie maker last week, along with comedian Bill Cosby, “in accordance with the organisation’s Standards of Conduct” in light of sexual assault cases against both men.

Polanski is now threatening to sue over the decision. His lawyer, Harland Braun, has sent a letter to Academy president John Bailey arguing that the group violated the law by expelling Polanski without giving him a chance to “present his side”. 

The threat comes days after Polanski gave his views on the #MeToo movement, in which victims are speaking out about sexual assault allegations in the movie industry and beyond, during an interview with the Polish edition of Newsweek.

Polanski said: “I think this is the kind of mass hysteria that occurs in society from time to time.

“Sometimes it’s very dramatic, like the French Revolution or the St Bartholomew’s Day massacre in France, or sometimes it’s less bloody, like 1968 in Poland or McCarthyism in the US.

“Everyone is trying to back this movement, mainly out of fear... I think it’s total hypocrisy.”

Polanski, who currently lives in France, is wanted in the US for the 1977 rape of Samantha Geimer, who was 13 at the time. Geimer has said that she has forgiven Polanski, reports The Daily Telegraph, and has criticised the Academy’s decision to expel him as “an ugly and cruel action which serves only appearance”.

Polanski has long claimed that the sex between him and Geimer was consensual, despite pleading guilty in 1978 to unlawful sex with a minor.

A member of his legal team said that comparing Polanski’s crimes to those of Cosby was “a total misunderstanding and harassment”.

Recommended

The history of Pride
People celebrating Pride in London
In Depth

The history of Pride

The countries that have banned conversion therapy
Conversion therapy protest
Why we’re talking about . . .

The countries that have banned conversion therapy

‘Playground insults’: what world leaders have said about Vladimir Putin
G7 leaders
Getting to grips with . . .

‘Playground insults’: what world leaders have said about Vladimir Putin

Quiz of The Week
Protesters outside US Supreme Court
Quizzes and puzzles

Quiz of The Week

Popular articles

Are we heading for World War Three?
Ukrainian soldiers patrol on the frontline in Zolote, Ukraine
In Depth

Are we heading for World War Three?

Nato vs. Russia: who would win in a war?
Nato troops
Today’s big question

Nato vs. Russia: who would win in a war?

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 2 July 2022
10 Downing Street
Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 2 July 2022

The Week Footer Banner