French actress Adèle Haenel, star of the film “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” has announced her retirement from acting, citing the film industry’s indifference towards sexual assault perpetrators within the industry.
Adèle Haenel Retires, Cites Film Industry’s Indifference to Sexual Assault Perpetrators
In a letter she penned, Adèle Haenel, a prominent figure in French cinema in recent years, announced that she is retiring from acting. The star of “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” expressed her disappointment with the film industry’s failure to embrace the #MeToo movement and its lackadaisical approach to sexual assault perpetrators within the industry. Following her role in Céline Sciamma’s “Portrait of a Lady on Fire,” Haenel did not participate in any other production. In 2020, during the César Awards, she stormed out of the ceremony, shouting “Shame on you!” after Roman Polanski was awarded the Best Director award.
The #MeToo movement was born in 2017 after a string of revelations about sexual assault and harassment by Hollywood’s big names such as Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey. It led to the exposure of numerous names in various industries, including the film industry, for their systematic harassment. In France, the allegations against Roman Polanski, who has been banned from entering the United States for years for sexually assaulting a minor, regained attention. The allegations against many other high-profile names in the industry, such as Gerard Depardieu and Dominique Boutonnat, were also exposed. However, the #MeToo movement, which has brought about change in many countries, failed to have the same impact in France due to the open or covert protection of perpetrators.
Haenel’s Retirement Highlights Issues in French Film Industry
Haenel’s decision to retire from acting highlights the deep-rooted issues in the French film industry. Her outspokenness and refusal to stay silent in the face of such injustice have been praised by many. It is a sad reality that despite the #MeToo movement and the exposure of so many perpetrators, the industry has failed to create an environment in which victims are supported and perpetrators are held accountable.
It is essential for the industry to take a hard look at itself and its practices. Such cases of sexual assault and harassment should never be ignored or tolerated. The industry must do more to support and protect victims and hold perpetrators accountable for their actions. The #MeToo movement may have started in Hollywood, but it has become a global phenomenon that has shed light on the pervasive issue of sexual assault and harassment. The industry must take a stand and actively work to bring about change.
Adèle Haenel’s decision to retire from acting serves as a reminder of the importance of creating a safe and supportive environment for victims of sexual assault and harassment. The industry must take steps to address these issues and hold perpetrators accountable for their actions. As a society, we must continue to stand up and fight against injustice and abuse in all its forms.
Last modified: May 11, 2023