Roman Polanksi's event in Paris disrupted by protesters

ANI | Updated: Oct 31, 2017 13:27 IST

Los Angeles [U.S.A], October 31 (ANI): French feminists disrupted the opening ceremony of a planned retrospective of Roman Polanski's work by the Cinematheque Francaise.

The activists entered the theater bare-chested with slogans reading "VIP - Very Important Pedocriminal" painted across their backs and chanted "No honour for the rapists" as Polanski signed autographs, reports The Guardian.

The demonstrators were quickly surrounded and removed from the building by security.

Additional protests against the Polish-French filmmaker continued outside, organized by groups Femen and Osez le Feminisme.

Several dozen protesters stationed outside the theater chanted, "Enough of those who want to protect the aggressors!"

Many signs read, "If rape is an art, Polanski deserves all the Cesars," a reference to the French film award.

The 'Pianist' helmer pleaded guilty to having sex with a 13-year-old girl in 1977. Polanski fled the U.S. before his sentencing in 1978 and has not returned.

Femen and Osez le Feminisme asked the Cinematheque Francaise to cancel the Polanski retrospective as new allegations came to light and launched an online petition that gathered more than 27,000 signatures.

In the petition, activist Laure Salmona, wrote, "It's an insult to all the women who mobilized around the #MeToo and #BalanceTonPorc hashtags, and an affront to all rape victims, particularly Polanski's victims."

In response to the call for protests, Cinematheque Francaise president Costa-Gavras noted that they would not change its plans to hold the retrospective.

In a statement issued by Gavras, he explained, "We have nothing to discuss with the people demanding that La Cinematheque Francaise abandons its fundamental mission: to tirelessly show the works of great filmmakers."

The new claims, which Polanski has denied through his lawyer, bring to at least four the number of women who have publicly accused him of sexual assault. (ANI)