Roman Polanski Steps Down as President of César Awards Following Protest Threats

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Roman Polanski Trial In Krakow
Photo: Adam Nurkiewicz/Getty Images

Roman Polanski will no longer serve as president of the French Oscars-equivalent, the César Awards. When the filmmaker’s appointment was announced last week, French feminist organization d’Osez le Feminisme was critical of the honor and revealed plans to protest. “In order not to disturb the César ceremony, which should be centered on cinema and not on whom it chose to preside over the ceremony, Roman Polanski has decided not to accept the invitation,” a lawyer for Mr. Polanski in Paris said in a statement to the New York Times. At the time of the announcement, d’Osez le Feminisme said Polanski’s appointment was an offense to victims of rape and sexual assault, given the director’s 1978 statutory-rape conviction (Polanski is wanted in the U.S. for the crime, and currently resides in France as that country doesn’t have an extradition treaty with the U.S.). “The quality of his filmography has little do with the crime he committed, his flight, and his refusal to assume his responsibilities,” the organization said. The César Awards will be handed out in a ceremony on February 24.

Roman Polanski Quits César Awards