Cesar Awards: ‘French Oscars’ ban people under sex crimes investigation from attending ceremony – Reuters

  • The Cesar Academy has banned those under investigation for sex crimes from attending this year’s ceremony.
  • Organizers say they wonder if the ban will also apply to future events.
  • The Academy says the decision was made out of respect for the victims.

The Cesar Awards, France’s version of the Oscars, said on Monday that anyone under investigation for allegations of sexual misconduct would be barred from its ceremony next month.

Protests were feared at the Feb. 25 event over the latest #MeToo furor involving newcomer Sofiane Bennacer, who is under police investigation into two allegations of rape and one of partner abuse.

Bennacer, 25, who denies any wrongdoing, had been considered a frontrunner for his role in ‘The Almond Trees’ (titled ‘Forever Young’ overseas) about a group of sexually promiscuous drama students in the 1960s. 1980.

The Cesar Awards said anyone facing a prison sentence for “violence, including of (a) sexual or gender-based nature” would be banned from attending the upcoming ceremony in February. Source: Getty / Francois Durand

It also follows protests at the 2020 ceremony when Roman Polanski, convicted of raping a child in the 1970s, won the best director award – which sparked a major reorganization of the Académie des César .

In a statement, the Academy said anyone facing a prison sentence for “violence, including (a) sexual or gender-based violence” would be barred from the upcoming ceremony.

“It was decided not to implicate the people likely to have been implicated by justice for acts of violence”, he specified, specifying that the approach was taken “out of respect for the victims ”, even if they were only “presumed victims”.

Bennacer was dropped from the long list of potential candidates in November after new allegations surfaced in the media.

The director of “Almond Trees”, Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi (who would also be Bennacer’s girlfriend), denounced “a media lynching”.

She admitted on Instagram that the film’s producers knew about the allegations against Bennacer during casting, “but I told them those rumors wouldn’t stop me and I couldn’t consider doing the film without him.”

His famous sister, singer and former French first lady Carla Bruni, said the actor’s treatment undermined the presumption of innocence, “one of the foundations of our democracy”.

The Cesar Academy said it is still debating whether people with allegations and convictions of sexual misconduct should be excluded entirely from future nominations and awards, with a decision expected in the coming weeks.

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Cesar Awards: ‘French Oscars’ ban people under sex crimes investigation from attending ceremony – Reuters