After the Bennacer affair, the Caesars’ sleight of hand to avoid a new controversy

BERTRAND GUAY / AFP A Cesar award is pictured on stage during the 46th edition of the Cesar Film Awards ceremony at The Olympia concert venue in Paris on March 12, 2021. (Photo by Bertrand GUAY / POOL / AFP)

BERTRAND GUAY / AFP

The Académie des César will withdraw anyone targeted by “acts of violence”, she announced on January 2, 2023.

MOVIE THEATER – ” It’s a shame ! Shame “, thundered actress Adèle Haenel in 2020, after the César award for best director was awarded to Roman Polanski, accused of rape. Two years later, the Caesar Academy wants to avoid a new controversy, while the actor Sofiane Bennacerrevealed in Almond trees, was indicted for rapes.

This Monday, January 2, the Academy therefore decided “out of respect for the victims (even presumed in the event of indictment or non-final conviction), not to highlight people who would be implicated by justice for acts of violence”says a press release.

Concretely, details the Academy, if a “person appearing on the list of nominees is the subject: either of an indictment for acts of violence, in particular of a sexual or sexist nature, liable to a prison sentence; or of a pending conviction pronounced on the basis of such facts”then “this person cannot be invited to the Ceremony or to any of the events associated with it and which are organized by the Académie des César”.

“This withdrawal will also exclude any speaking ‘in the name of this person’ during these same events – including if a César were to be awarded to him at the end of the second round of voting”, the statement said. Translation: a person indicted cannot go to the ceremony… but can quite be rewarded there.

The Sofiane Bennacer affair at the heart of this decision

This decision was taken for the 2023 ceremony, following the indictment at the end of November for rape and violence against the spouse of actor Sofiane Bennacer – who is not named in the Academy press release.

The one who sticks with The Almond Trees by Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi her first big role on the screen had been retained in the list of the thirty “ revelations » Caesarsbefore being released in an emergency, when the legal proceedings against him were made public.

The Caesars had immediately considered modifying their rules. Work will take place in this direction in the first semester, “ in the face of the magnitude and complexity of these issues, from a moral and legal point of view” before a “Possible change of rules” for subsequent editions.

For professionals of the 7th art, the accusations against Sofiane Bennacer had come to recall the memory of thePolanski caseregularly overtaken by old accusations of sexual abuse, or even the indictments of actors like Gérard Depardieu or Ary Abittan for acts of rape, which they dispute.

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After the Bennacer affair, the Caesars’ sleight of hand to avoid a new controversy