French actress Emmanuelle Seigner, who has been married to Roman Polanski for nearly three decades, was recently announced as one of the new class of members to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences which runs the Oscars.
It was a surprising addition namely because AMPAS had also just expelled Polanski due to a decades-old rape court case which led to the director fleeing the United States. Now Seigner, in a letter to Le Journal du Dimanche (via Deadline), has confirmed she is not accepting the invitation and explains why she is forgoing membership – it’s all to do with the hypocrisy of the Academy:
“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.
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.
Of course, artists are not 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.
As for the members of the Academy, I have only one thing to say to them. This is one woman you won’t have.”
Seigner has starred in numerous Polanski films over the years including “Frantic,” “The Ninth Gate,” “Bitter Moon” and “Venus in Fur”.