The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences invited a record 928 new people for membership last month, but at least one person has outright rejected them.
Actress Emmanuelle Seigner declined her invitation, penning a scathing critique of the Academy in the French publication Le Journal du Dimanche over their expulsion of her husband, director Roman Polanski, earlier this year.
“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 wrote, according to Entertainment Weekly.
Polanski, who won Best Director in 2002, was expelled from the Academy the 1977 case in which he pled guilty to raping a 13-year-old girl. The director fled to Europe before his formal sentencing and has lived there ever since.
“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. I love him, he is my husband and the father of my children. He has been cast out like a pariah,” Seigner continued. “Yet these same nameless academicians think that I should ‘mount the steps of glory’ behind his back? The insufferable hypocrisy! This proposal is one insult too many. I cannot remain silent any longer. You offend me whilst claiming to want to protect women!”
“I feel that all his life, from the Nazis of his childhood to the present day, Roman has been condemned to perpetual flight, without the slightest effort by any part of the media to look at his case with an open mind. On the contrary, they only seek to make it worse,” she added. “It should be the same justice that exists for all, not a justice that goes back on its word and violates its own principles. That was the case in Los Angeles in 1977, when his first confinement in prison was supposed to be his punishment. Today, Roman has served more than the maximum sentence for the offence [sic] committed.”
Seigner has been married to Polanski since 1989 after working together on the film “Frantic”. She has since starred in four more of the director’s films.