Oscar-winning director Roman Polanski is taking aim at the #MeToo movement that sheds light on sexual misconduct, blasting it as “collective hysteria” and “total hypocrisy.”
Speaking to the Polish edition of Newsweek days before he was ousted from the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences along with Bill Cosby, Polanski made his opinion of #MeToo clear.
“It seems to me it’s collective hysteria, of the type which happens in societies from time to time,” the 84-year-old said, according to the Agence France-Presse. “Everyone is trying to back this movement, mainly out of fear,” the 84-year-old said.”
His comments mirror those of French actress Brigitte Bardot, who criticized the movement as “hypocritical, ridiculous and uninteresting.”
Polanski pled guilty to engaging in unlawful sexual intercourse in 1977 after 13-year-old Samantha Geimer accused him of getting her drunk and giving her part of a quaalude. He went on to serve 42 days in jail due to the plea bargain but fled the U.S. when ordered to serve the remainder of his 90-day sentence.
In 2009, Polanski was detained by Zurich police after the United States attempted to have him extradited to face charges relating to the decades-old rape case.
After fleeing the United States in 1978, he was detained in Switzerland, jailed and placed on house arrest for several months, until the Swiss government officially declined to deport him. Since then, Polanski has remained a fugitive. The case is still ongoing, despite his victim’s requests to have it dismissed.
The Pianist director spoke out about that rape accusation in a rare interview with The Hollywood Reporter in October.
“As far as what I did: It’s over. I pleaded guilty,” Polanski said. “I went to jail. I came back to the United States to do it, people forget about that, or don’t even know. I then was locked up here [in Zurich] after this festival. So in the sum, I did about four or five times than what was promised to me.”