Here's the video of people leaving the Cesars when Roman Polanski won

Here's the video of people leaving the Cesars when Roman Polanski won

Here's the video of people leaving the Cesars when Roman Polanski won

Several women have stormed out of this year's Cesar Awards in protest after filmmaker and sex offender Roman Polanski's won the Best Director category.

The show's host, French comedian Florence Foresti, addressed the controversy by welcoming all the "predators" in attendance and later remarked "There are 12 moments when we're going to have an issue", alluding to Polanski's 12 nominations.

The backlash pressured Polanski to skip the awards while deriding his accusers as "unhealthy minds".

Among those who left the Pleynel concert hall early was leading actress Adele Haenel, who past year said she had been sexually abused as a child by another director.

"Roman Polanski is not a victim, he is not a persecuted man, he is just a rapist, a child rapist, who is protected by the whole world of cinema in France", she said. "It means raping women isn't that bad", Haenel told the New York Times earlier this week. It is among the best film nominees. These accusations have done little to blunt Polanski's career, as he continues to work and win awards.

Prior to the Cesar ceremony, Haenel had condemned Polanski's inclusion in the nominations.

France's Culture Minister Franck Riester called for the academy to operate democratically and Minister for Equality Marlene Schiappa also condemned the decision to nominate Polanski's movie.

The Cesar Awards also attracted criticism from a group of 30 film figures from minority backgrounds who attacked the French industry in an open later published the night before the ceremony in which they protested the stereotypical bit parts for performers from black, North African and Asian origins.

Polanski had previously stated that he would not be attending the awards saying, "We know how this evening will unfold already ..."

"By supporting the aggressors, by celebrating the aggressors, one does not allow the victims to speak out".

In a statement Thursday provided to The Associated Press, the Paris-based Polanski said the ceremony was turning into a "public lynching".

Polanski is still wanted in the United States decades after he was charged with raping a 13-year-old girl in 1977. Polanski has been a fugitive since 1978, when he fled the country while awaiting sentencing for his sexual abuse case.

Last year, a Frenchwoman came forward to accuse Polanski of raping her in 1975 in his Swiss chalet when she was 18. He has since been accused of rape and sexual assault by several women, many when they were minors.

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