French actress Emmanuelle Seigner has rejected an “offensive” invitation to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences and blasted the body for the way it has treated her husband, film director Roman Polanski.
The organization, which oversees the Academy Awards, is in the midst of an initiative to diversify its white male-dominant voting membership. Last month, the Academy invited 928 entertainment industry professionals to join its membership.
Seigner, best known in the U.S. for her work in Julian Schnabel’s “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly,” won’t be one of them. In response to the invitation, she criticized the Academy in a letter to the French newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche for what she described as “the insufferable hypocrisy” in its dealings with Polanski, the Los Angeles Times reported.
The director, who is best known for such films as “Chinatown” and “Rosemary’s Baby,” won the Oscar for best directing in 2003 for “The Pianist.” In May, he was expelled along with Bill Cosby by the Academy’s Board of Governors “in accordance with the organization’s Standards of Conduct,” the academy said at the time. The Academy said Polanski breached those standards when, in 1978, he fled the U.S. before sentencing after he pleaded guilty to unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor.
In her letter, Seigner blasted the ways in which the Academy has treated Polanski, expelling him after awarding him an Oscar for “The Pianist” – – “a curious case of amnesia!”
Citing Polanski’s work directing “unforgettable female characters,” Seigner argued that artists aren’t exempt from justice, “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.”
Seigner and Polanski have been married since 1989.