As you probably already know, filmmaker Roman Polanski has joined an elite crew of expelled members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Joining the likes of Harvey Weinstein and Bill Cosby, Polanski was recently kicked out of the Academy stemming from a decades-old rape court case, which led to the director fleeing from the country. And in an odd twist of fate, when the Academy announced their massive new class of Academy members, someone very dear to Polanski was on the list.
The filmmaker’s wife, Emmanuelle Seigner, who has been married to Polanski for almost 30 years, was a member of the new class. However, due to her relationship with the filmmaker, she is not accepting the invitation, and instead offered a detailed explanation as to why she is forgoing membership. Needless to say, she’s none too pleased with how her husband has been treated.
According to Le Journal du Dimanche (via Deadline), Seigner wrote, “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. 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!”
The actress continued by comparing the alleged persecution that Polanski is facing from Hollywood to that which he experienced from Nazis during World War II. “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 continued.
“Of course, artists are not exempt from justice,” Seigner wrote. “But 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 committed.”
“As for the members of the Academy, I have only one thing to say to them,” she concluded. “This is one woman you won’t have.”
One has to wonder why Seigner was invited in the first place. Sure, there’s no doubt that she deserves the honor, but someone at the Academy surely had to expect this sort of response. Either way, it doesn’t appear that Polanski has softened his stance against the Academy and his expulsion.