Film director Roman Polanski has dismissed the #MeToo movement as ‘mass hysteria’ and ‘hypocrisy’ in an interview carried out before he was expelled from the Oscars academy.
The 84-year-old was thrown out of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences last week, along with convicted sex attacker Bill Cosby.
The Oscar-winning director of ‘Rosemary’s Baby’ compared #MeToo, which has seen women all over the world speak out about sexual assaults and harassment they have suffered, to 16th century massacres of protestant Christians in France.
Asked what he thinks of the movie industry’s recent reckoning with sexual harassment, Polanski told this week’s edition of Newsweek Polska: ‘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,’ he added.
He has for years sought to negotiate a deal in the case with US authorities.
Geimer, who has said in the past that she has forgiven Polanski, dismissed the Academy’s move to expel him as ‘an ugly and cruel action which serves only appearance.’
Polanski, who called the decision last week ‘the height of hypocrisy’, is set to appeal, his lawyer said.
‘We want due process,’ Polanski’s attorney Harland Braun told Vanity Fair as he announced his client’s decision to appeal.
‘That’s not asking too much of the Academy, is it?’
‘Mr. Polanski was supposed to be given notice, and have 10 days to present his side.
‘It was a complete debacle in the sense that they didn’t follow their own rules.’
The expulsions came as Hollywood reels from the assault allegations against disgraced film mogul Harvey Weinstein, which prompted an international uproar and encouraged legions of women to share their own experience of sexual harassment or rape under the hashtag #MeToo.