Reacting to the massive scandal surrounding Harvey Weinstein’s alleged sexual harassment and abuses on more than three dozen women, French President Emmanuel Macron has taken steps to strip the disgraced Hollywood producer of his Legion of Honor.
In an interview with TF1 on Sunday, Macron confirmed he had reached out to the Grand Chancellor of the Order in Paris to ask the institution to revoke Weinstein’s Legion of Honor, France’s highest award. Then-president Nicolas Sarkozy had given the Legion of Honor to Weinstein in 2012, after “The Artist” — which Weinstein distributed and campaigned for — won five Oscars.
“I have asked the Grand Chancellor of the Order to examine quickly this case and launch a disciplinary procedure [against Weinstein]…considering the gravity of the facts,” said Macron, adding that the Chancellor will have to make the ultimate decision.
Earlier this week, the Grand Chancellor of the Order told Variety that it would not consider stripping Weinstein of the decoration until there is a “final condemnation.”
“Considering the annulment of the Legion of Honor to foreigners, the rule is to wait for a final condemnation before launching disciplinary action,” the Grand Chancellor’s office said.
Macron, however, is looking to fast-track the process as he argued Weinstein violated the code of ethics of the Legion of Honor by behaving “in a way that’s contrary to honor.” This in itself could justify a suspension or exclusion from the Order of Legion of Honor.
The Weinstein scandal has been getting wall-to-wall coverage in France with most mainstream outlets focusing their reports on how Weinstein’s predatory behavior and sexual abuses were an open secret in Hollywood. French journalists have attempted to explain why U.S. media outlets, including NBC, as well as industry insiders, failed to report the abuses which went on for decades.
The scandal has also spurred a nationwide debate about sexual harassment and abuse in the workplace, especially in the film and TV industry. Aside from French actresses like Emma De Caunes, Judith Godreche, Lea Seydoux and Eva Green who have come forward to say they were sexually harassed by Weinstein, renowned French actress Isabelle Adjani took the opportunity to denounce the predatory behavior of some filmmakers towards actresses in a long op-ed piece which ran today in a French newspaper.
On Twitter, a French journalist launched #balancetonporc (#throwyourpig), the equivalent to #myharveyweinstein, which has been trending all day on Twitter and has collected hundreds of anecdotes and testimonies of sexual harassment and abuses, many of which have been happening in the media world.