Emmanuelle Seigner, Roman Polanski's wife, rejects invitation to join Academy after husband's expulsion
Emmanuelle Seigner, Roman Polanski's wife, says 'Non merci!' to Oscars' academy invite, slamming their “insufferable hypocrisy.”
Actress Emmanuelle Seigner on Sunday rejected an invitation to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, in a column in which she slammed the “hypocrisy” of a group that expelled her husband Roman Polanski two months ago.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences last month announced that it had swelled its ranks by more than 900 members, as part of its drive for a more inclusive Hollywood. The Oscar-awarding body announces a round of invitations every year, and has been bolstering its ethnic and female representation following criticism over its predominantly white, male membership.
“How can I ignore the fact that a few weeks ago the Academy expelled my husband, Roman Polanski, in an attempt to appease the zeitgeist – the very same Academy which in 2002 awarded him an Oscar for The Pianist! A curious case of amnesia!” Seigner said in the column published in France’s Le Journal du Dimanche. “The Academy probably thinks I am enough of a spineless, social climbing actress that I would forget that I have been married for the past 29 years to one of the world’s greatest directors,” she said, denouncing what she called “insufferable hypocrisy.”
Seigner, 52, well known in France for movies that included Polanski’s Based on a True Story and Venus in Fur movies, said she felt offended by the offer to join the Academy. “As for the members of the Academy, I have only one thing to say to them: this is one woman you won’t have,” she wrote in the piece.
The 84-year-old director of Rosemary's Baby and Chinatown was accused of drugging a 13-year-old girl before raping her at the film star Jack Nicholson's house in Los Angeles in 1977. He admitted statutory rape after a number of more serious charges were dropped, and spent 48 days in custody to undergo psychiatric evaluation before being released. According to court documents, Polanski was promised by the judge overseeing the case that the seven weeks he spent in custody would be the only time he would serve. But in 1978, convinced the judge was going to scrap his plea deal and send him to prison — possibly for decades — to avoid a public backlash, he left for France. The director has since refused to return without assurances that he would not serve additional time in prison.
With inputs from agencies
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