'Portrait of a Lady on Fire' Cast & Crew Protest Roman Polanski Win

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The actresses and director left an awards ceremony after his win was announced.

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If you didn’t already have enough reasons to love the women of the critically acclaimed French lesbian drama Portrait of a Lady on Fire, they’ve just given us another fantastic reason to support them.

Controversial director Roman Polanski — who was charged with rape in 1977, ultimately pled guilty to unlawful sex with a minor, and subsequently fled the United States so as to avoid any actual consequences — won the award for Best Director at France’s César Awards on Friday. His nomination alone was protested outside of the award ceremony, prompting Polanski to be a no-show at the awards.

But when he won, Portrait of a Lady on Fire stars Adèle Haenel and Noemie Merlant, along with director Céline Sciamma, were among those who took the protest inside, walking out of the auditorium directly following the announcement.

Adèle forever. pic.twitter.com/Fhe9xSLxCK

— Portrait of a Lady on Fire (@Portrait_Movie) February 28, 2020

And if it wasn’t perfectly clear that their abrupt departure was a protest of Polanski and French cinema’s refusal to hold him accountable for his crimes, another video shows Haenel angrily calling out “Brava, pedophilia!” as she and Sciamma make their way through the lobby as they leave.

“Bravo, pedophilia!” Adèle Haenel, star of Portrait of a Lady on Fire, and the film’s director Céline Sciamma walking out after child rapist Roman #Polanski won the best director award at the Césars, #France’s equivalent to the Oscars. h/t @alucarda


— Mona Eltahawy (@monaeltahawy) February 29, 2020

While these women were certainly not the only ones who left the ceremony in protest of Polanski’s win, too many people stayed, showing exactly how easy it is for a convicted sexual predator to continue having not only a public career, but a celebrated one. As such, the bravery of those who made their positions on his inclusion known has been applauded online.

If I turn out to be 1% of the person she is, I would be glad.

— failure case (@YourMindAches) February 29, 2020

Noémie did storm out following Adèle and as well as the rest of the Portrait crew. pic.twitter.com/3XgqQEqMjc

— YGsunflower (@thegao22) February 29, 2020

Potrait lost in almost all of its 10 nominations except cinematography. And Polanski winning best director... This is definitely a retribution. Fucking sickening.

— indira (@indiraiman) February 28, 2020

absolute hero, fuck polanski

— eman (@actuallyeman) February 28, 2020

Love her. The bravery she showed while the others sat clapping for the man who raped a 13 year old

— AK (@andreakirwan) February 29, 2020

Same same... and I'm feeling hopeful for a few reasons:
1) the protests last night were EPIC
2) Haenel & Sciamma's walking out was a big symbolic gesture
3) even the French minister of culture Franck Riester spoke up against the César before the ceremony: https://t.co/kI11id8KFA

— Elena Rossini #MerciAdeleHaenel (@_elena) February 29, 2020

This is far from the point, but Portrait of a Lady on Fire is an amazing movie and it makes me really happy to know that it's creators are also worthy of admiration.

— Adam (@askeeve) February 29, 2020


Portrait of a Lady on Fire Cast & Crew Protest Roman Polanski Win

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