Portrait of a Lady on Fire Star Adèle Haenel Storms Out of Awards Show After Roman Polanski Wins

Photo: Courtesy of TIFF

The César Awards, hosted by the French Film Academy, took place today, and one of the gala’s nominees made her feelings clear about its decision to honor the work of Roman Polanski. The director has been convicted of raping a 13-year-old girl in the United States and has had a handful of additional rape accusations made against him, which led to advance criticism of the Film Academy for nominating him, protesters gathering on the street outside the Césars, and Polanksi himself foregoing the ceremony to avoid what he called a “public lynching” by feminist activists.

Polanski’s latest film, An Officer and a Spy, still managed to win multiple awards at the ceremony (where it was nominated for 12), and when his name was announced as Best Director, Portrait of a Lady on Fire star and Best Actress nominee Adéle Haenel stood up and stormed out of the theater in protest, waving her hand in the air and addressing the stage as she left.

Multiple people reportedly walked out on Polanksi’s win, but Haenel is the only one clearly pictured in the video. Others can be seen streaming out of the exit as Polanski’s award is accepted in absentia.

Portrait of a Lady on Fire Star Protests Roman Polanski Win