It’s been a week since the wonderful AdÃ¨le Haenel staged a walkout at the César Awards in protest of their decision to give Roman Polanski their Best Director Award. His latest film, J’Accuse, was also the most nominated movie of the night. After the director prize was awarded, Haenel, among others, walked out of the ceremony to voice their distaste at the obviously disgusting decision to celebrate a child rapist (this was the fifth time they had given him this award.)
Haenel is currently receiving some of the best reviews of her career for her turn in Portrait of a Lady on Fire. During her international press tour for the film, Haenel called out the French film industry’s backward attitude towards dealing with misogyny and noted how the #MeToo movement had yet to find sturdy ground in the country. She also talked candidly about her own experiences with sexual abuse as a child at the hands of the director who had cast her in one of his films. Haenel received a lot of support in France as well as worldwide for her protest. Many feminist groups had picketed the César Awards and spoken out against Polanski who, on top of drugging and raping a 13-year-old girl, has faced multiple further accusations of rape over the decades.
You’d think that calling out a known child rapist would, you know, be basic human decency and all that, but as we’ve seen from decades of the film industry and, you know, millennia of patriarchy, it’s sadly not that simple. Polanski is still beloved in the European film world and has many big-name allies. One of whom, the casting director Olivier Carbone, decided to turn to social media to let everyone know how much he hated the woman calling out a rapist and not the rapist himself.
Un directeur de casting promet Â« une bonne omerta de carriÃ¨re morte bien méritée Â» Ã AdÃ¨le Haenel pour avoir protesté publiquement contre le prix décerné Ã Polanski. On fait taire les femmes, on punit les femmes de parler, et on ne s’en cache pas. pic.twitter.com/Nm1AcISRVQ— Mélusine (@Melusine_2) March 4, 2020
L'historique des modifications du post est un délice "tous des grosses putes" pic.twitter.com/7X8zwTHAwQ— Catin liseur (@PLapomme) March 4, 2020
My French is pretty rusty but, as noted on The Playlist, Carbone’s misogyny is evident. One part says, ‘Given my sources Haenel, you will have a good surprise very soon, with a good omerta, a well-deserved dead career that hangs in his face. Haenel you are minuscule compared to the talent of Roman!’ He also referred to her as a ‘grosses putes’, which basically means ‘fat whores.’ Nice.
Olivier Carbone is, alas, hardly a nobody in this business. He has worked as the casting director or as part of the casting department on films like Inglourious Basterds and La Vie en Rose. He also, if IMDb is anything to go by, hasn’t worked in at least seven years. Sadly, his attitude is probably pretty reflective of a lot of people in the upper echelons of French cinema.
Still, I don’t think Haenel has anything to worry about. On top of being one of the most popular and acclaimed French actresses of her generation, she just signed on with the major American talent agency CAA. So sorry, Olivier, she can’t hear you over the sound of success.