Disgraced director Roman Polanski is adding his voice to #MeToo conversation, describing the movement to hold men in power accountable for their sexual misconduct “collective hysteria” and “total hypocrisy.”
Polanski, who fled the country prior to sentencing for unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor, made his comments during a recent interview with Newsweek Polska, the Polish edition of Newsweek, NBC News reports. If you ask Polanski, #MeToo is a “collective hysteria of the kind that sometimes happens in the society,” according to the Chicago Tribune’s translation.
“Everyone is trying to sign up, chiefly out of fear,” he said, before going on to compare it to the public mourning that happens in North Korea after the deaths of leaders, when everyone weeps so much and so loudly that “you can’t help laughing.”
“To me, this is total hypocrisy,” he continued, but did not elaborate further.
The magazine noted that the interview took place before Polanksi — along with Bill Cosby, who was found guilty last month of drugging and molesting a woman in 2004 — had his membership in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences revoked earlier this month. Polanski, now 84, became a fugitive from justice in 1978 when he fled the country after pleading guilty to engaging in unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor. Polanski was accused of giving Samantha Geimer, then only 13-years-old, champagne and quaaludes during a photo shoot at actor Jack Nicholson’s house in 1977, the Associated Press reports. This was far from the only accusation of sexual assault against a child: Vox notes that the famous director has been accused at least five times. In January 2018, the Los Angeles District Attorney decided to not charge Polanski for a case involving a 10 year old because the statute of limitations had expired.
Following news of his expulsion, Polanski threatened to sue the Academy for not giving him a “fair hearing” before they made their decision, USA Today reports.
“The only thing we’re asking for is a hearing, a chance to present his side,” Polanski’s attorney, Harland Braun, told the Los Angeles Times. “What I would hope is that [the academy’s legal counsel] would say, ‘Let’s avoid an expensive lawsuit. Let’s just start over. We’ll rescind the expulsion and we’ll put him on notice that we’re thinking of expelling him and we’ll give you the opportunity to present your case.’”
“That’s the only rational thing,” Braun continued. “Otherwise, we’ve got to go to court and get a judge to rule that the academy has to follow its own rules, which should be a no-brainer.”
(Photo: Polish film director Roman Polanski at Netia Off Camera film festival in Krakow, Poland on May 2, 2018. By Beata Zawrzel/NurPhoto via Getty Images)